Siemens today officially confirmed rumors that it is selling its ailing mobile phone unit to BenQ, the Taiwanese consumer electronics manufacturer formerly a division of Acer. The deal, which includes 6,000 employees and the use of Siemens' brand name for five years, will cost Siemens a pre-tax total of €350 million. That figure includes purchasing €50 million worth of BenQ stock. BenQ's shareholders must approve the deal within 70 days.
This seems like a surprisingly happy conclusion to Siemens' troublesome phone unit. Siemens and its investors are happy to be rid of a division that lost €152 million last year. BenQ, meanwhile, has the potential to double its yearly revenue to €10 billion and appears confidant that it can turn things around for the mobile phone unit. The Register points out that this arrangement is similar to the Sony Ericsson partnership with one key difference: there is no doubt that BenQ is the company in charge of the venture. - Eli