NEC has sold its Packard Bell BV unit to companies controlled by John Hui, the former owner of eMachines.

Packard Bell markets and sells PCs and other consumer electronics products in Europe, the Middle East, Africa and South America. The company that has been sold was created last year from what was left after the enterprise PC business was spun out of NEC Computers International BV to NEC Computers SAS, a French unit of NEC.

NEC's links with the Packard Bell brand name date back to July 1995, when it paid $170m (about £91m) for a 19.9 percent stake in US PC maker Packard Bell Electronics.

Its revenue in the year from April 2005 to March 2006 was €1.3bn (£875m).

"NEC's focus has been going more towards the enterprise market so we decided it's in the best interests of Packard Bell and NEC to sell the company," said Diane Foley, an NEC spokeswoman in Tokyo.

The value of the deal was not disclosed.