Chinese system builder Lenovo has announced its intention to buy Packard Bell . The acquisition would give it a foothold in the European consumer market where Packard Bell holds third spot.

Lenovo has previously made no secret of its intention to move into the consumer space in Europe. Indeed, Lenovo representatives recently showed Tech.co.uk company slides signalling the intention to be fully involved in the consumer market next year.

Lenovo says it has "entered into a memorandum of understanding with a third party to explore the possibilities" around acquiring Packard Bell. The identity of the "third-party" is not disclosed.

Lenovo's release states the caveat that the acquisition "may or may not materialise". Though it's the kind of statement typical of a public company - Lenovo is listed on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange.

Before the Lenovo announcement, it was rumoured that Taiwanese manufacturer Acer was sniffing around Packard Bell - such news may well have forced Lenovo's hand. In the spring, Acer had claimed it would acquire another manufacturer within the coming months.

Lenovo previously bought IBM's PC manufacturing arm in 2005.