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Gateway to make overseas decisions soon

The fate of the PC maker's operations outside the United States will be decided by early September, according to a spokesman in Asia.

The fate of Gateway's operations outside the United States will be decided by early September, a company spokesman in the Asia-Pacific region said Monday.

There has been mounting speculation that the San Diego-based computer maker could pull out of its foreign markets--including Asia, Europe, Africa, the Middle East and Latin America--as the company continues to revamp its business.

In recent months, Gateway has outlined a new strategy focused on selling PCs, software, accessories and training to consumers and small businesses. However, there are questions about the viability of this strategy outside the United States.

"Gateway will decide on what action if any is necessary in 30 days from Aug. 10," spokesman Mike Buchanan said. "It may take a little longer...hopefully it will take less." Buchanan said the review is designed to decide whether Gateway can achieve revenue growth and adequate profitability in the regions where it competes.

"If the company decides that they (the overseas markets) can't achieve the goal of being profitable, it might mean significant restructuring or even withdrawal from that particular market," he said.

"Any further restructuring or further changes will be announced within the 30-day period. It's not possible to speculate what further changes they might be."

The company has already been required under British and Irish law to announce the potential closure of operations in those two countries. International sales--primarily from Europe and Asia-- accounted for 12 percent of Gateway's $1.5 billion global net sales for the three months ended in June, according to the company's latest quarterly filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

Gateway has an office in Singapore and a manufacturing facility in Malacca, Malaysia. The company employs about 25 people in Singapore and 400 workers in Malacca.

In July, Gateway announced restructuring measures, which included the appointment of Hong Kong-based NetCel360 Holdings as its exclusive reseller for its products in Singapore and Hong Kong. Gateway's two Country stores in Hong Kong and one in Singapore are operated by NetCel360, Buchanan said.

In addition, Gateway, also said last month that it had closed its Malaysian and Hong Kong offices and had slashed 240 to 250 jobs since January. A Gateway representative said at the time that the cuts included all 70 employees from its Malaysian sales office and the remainder from Singapore and Hong Kong.

CNET Singapore's Anand Menon reported from Singapore. News.com's Ian Fried contributed to this report.