2015 hasn’t really been a good year for at least two high profile consumer technology companies based out of Taiwan. While the seemingly never-ending financial woes of HTC and Acer have been publicly documented for the last several weeks, both companies had thus far steadfastly denied any rumors of takeover – friendly or hostile. But with the continuing battering of its share price on the Taiwan Stock Exchange, the founder of smartphone and PC manufacturer Acer has now grudgingly relented in his efforts to keep staving off any takeover bids, if reports emanating out of Taipei is to be believed.
Speaking to members of the Taiwanese media last Thursday amidst dwindling market share in both its PC and smartphone businesses, Mr. Stan Shih reportedly said that he would be open to a takeover of his company. He however did warn potential bidders that they’ll have to pay what he called “a heavy price”, for what would essentially be “an empty sell”. He didn’t elaborate on what he precisely meant by either of those expressions. Speaking about any potential M&A activity, Mr. Shih sought to offer emotional reasons for not wanting to put up the company he founded, on the chopping block. According to him, “U.S. and European management teams usually are concerned about money, their CEOs only work for money. But Taiwanese are more concerned about a sense of mission and emotional factors”. His views have now reportedly been confirmed officially by the company.
Reports say that the stock price of Acer has almost halved since early April, on the back of weak sales and diminishing market share in its bread and butter PC and smartphone businesses. The company makes the ‘Liquid’ range of Android-powered smartphones, and is known to make the ‘Aspire’ lineup of laptop and desktop PCs powered by Microsoft Windows. While the company’s market share has been on the wane for a while now, the latest crisis has been brought about by a sudden 33 percent drop in sales in the month of July. The company’s net profit in the first six months of this year fell by as much as $9.54 million in the first half of 2015, as the company reported a NT$176 million ($5.42 million) of net profit during the period, as compared to a NT$486 million (14.96 million) net profit in the first six months of last year.