Gateway plans Brazilian invasion

SAN DIEGO -- Personal computerheavyweight Gateway Inc. on Wednesday moved to breakinto Latin America's largest market with a deal to allow VitechAmerica Inc.

SAN DIEGO -- Personal computer heavyweight Gateway Inc. on Wednesday moved to break into Latin America's largest market with a deal to allow Vitech America Inc. to make and sell Gateway computers in Brazil.

Under an undefined "financial relationship" unveiled by Gateway (NYSE:GTW), the No. 2 direct seller of PCs will grant Miami-based Vitech (Nasdaq:VTCH) rights to produce, market and service Gateway products for Brazilian businesses and consumers. The arrangement also grants Gateway the option to buy Vitech at a future date.

Financial terms were not disclosed.

The move represents a major growth opportunity for Gateway, which previously had almost no presence in Brazil, the world's 12th largest PC market.

Vitech is one of Brazil's largest manufacturers and direct sellers of PCs, business systems integration and networking equipment.

Shares of Gateway closed at 50-9/16 on Tuesday on the New York Stock Exchange. Shares of Vitech closed at 8-3/4 on the Nasdaq stock market.

Gateway said it would also share technology, manufacturing and assembly techniques with Vitech to ensure its products in Brazil meet company standards.