SAN FRANCISCO -- Gateway ( GTW)announced plans to acquire European PC maker Packard Bell Monday, in the latest sign of consolidation in the PC industry. Terms of the deal were not disclosed, although Gateway said the deal is expected to close in the fourth quarter of 2007 or the first quarter of 2008. Gateway of course is merely a conduit for the deal's real beneficiary -- Taiwanese PC maker Acer. In August,
Acer announced plans to acquire Gateway for about $710 million . As part of that deal, Gateway said at the time that it would exercise its first right of refusal to acquire Packard Bell. On Monday, Gateway said it has delivered a binding offer to acquire all of the shares of Packard Bell's holding company from owner Lap Shun (John) Hui. Acer has taken steps to bolster its presence outside the Asian PC market, and plans to leverage a variety of brands to target different segments of the market. Shares of Gateway were unchanged at $1.89 in extended trading Monday.