Bankrupt BenQ German unit attracts possible buyers

The bankrupt German handset business of Taiwan's BenQ has attracted several possible buyers, including an unidentified German-US investor, its insolvency administrator, quoted by an Associated Press report, said.

The Associated Press report said Munich-based BenQ Mobile filed for insolvency protection in September, a year after the Taiwanese firm took over the struggling unit from Siemens and began an unsuccessful bid to turn it around.

Though no investors came forward to buy the business as a going concern, a spokeswoman for administrator Martin Prager was quoted as saying that 'several' have shown interest in its assets.

Spokeswoman Regine Petzsch declined to identify the interested parties and said it was unclear when a decision might be taken.

The potential bidders include a German-US investor group, which is negotiating with Prager via Munich-based lawyer Andreas Kloyer. The lawyer says the group are 'strategic' rather than financial investors, and that their plans would salvage 800 jobs. However, their identity, plans and financing remain unclear, the report said.

Petzsch declined to comment on German media reports that the group is seeking loan guarantees from the state government of North Rhine-Westphalia, where BenQ had a factory, the report further said.