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By | Paul Kunert 13th February 2015 18:30

Acer: We're still a thing! We're still alive. And we are touting 300M shares

Did someone say we make only PCs? Not for much longer

Acer wants to become a "hardware + software + services" biz – and issued 300 million shares on the Taiwanese Stock Exchange to fund this strategy and pay down debts.

It’s been a challenging couple of years for Acer: a returning demand for PCs will help relieve the pain, although all the crystal ball strokers from Gartner to IDC reckon that market has peaked.

So Acer, which in the Noughties was busy buying stragglers including Packard Bell and Gateway, is diversifying beyond the box: it already has a Build Your Own Cloud service (BYOC).

The Taiwanese company offered 300 million common shares on February 11, it has confirmed, with the expectation of raising NT$5.4bn (£112m). Acer was due to distribute additional shares last year but delayed the process due to the volatility of the exchange. “This is the first equity raising plan by Acer Inc. since the company spun off its former manufacturing operations,” the company said.

“The usage of the fund is to pay down bank loans, to finance the Euro Convertible Bond and to bolster funds for new business investments for the company’s long-term sustainability," it added.

The plan is to morph into a “hardware + software + services” organisation, keeping its existing PC biz spinning but “also stepping up the pace to invest and innovate in new businesses in the era of cloud computing and for the start of a new-new Acer.”

Details on the exact nature of the software and wider services strategy are thin on the ground. But all new Acer kit is connected to the BYOC service, which allows users to sync music, photos, videos and documents across all devices using a home PC as the base for a private cloud.

Hopefully, for Acer's sake, the new line of products will be a little more revolutionary.

In 2014, Acer reported an 8.4 per cent drop in turnover to NT$329.84bn ($10.37bn), according to a filing in January, but it postponed filing full results before the share placement.

The business is planning to expand revenues by at least five per cent this year or in a best case scenario by some 15 per cent. It expects profits to edge up between one to three per cent. ®

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