Electronics firm NEC has announced that it has sold its European PC business, meaning it is pulling out of the consumer PC market.

NEC said it sold its holdings in Packard Bell BV to Lap Shun Hui, the former co-founder of eMachines - a company producing low-cost PCs that has since been sold to Gateway Inc . Packard Bell is the name under which NEC sells PCs to consumers and some businesses in Europe.

Japan's third largest electronics firm, NEC is the top seller of personal computers in Japan but has made little impact overseas. According to research firm Gartner , it was the seventh largest PC maker in the world last year, with a market share of 2.8 per cent.

A spokesman for NEC declined to comment on the price. Anna Lagerkvist