New investment for Nokia Siemens Networks?

Finnish mobile vendor Nokia and German engineering group Siemens are reportedly looking for outside investment in their joint venture Nokia Siemens Networks (NSN). In interviews with the London Financial Times, the two companies confirmed that talks were under way with private equity groups interested in buying a stake in NSN. However, executives were keen to emphasise that neither partner was seeking an early exit, pointing to signs of recovery in the business. NSN was set up in 2007 as a 50-50 venture between Nokia and Siemens, but it has struggled against strong competition, particularly from Asian vendors. The existing contract between the equal stakeholders expires in 2013, when they will renegotiate their agreement. NSN lost 1.6 billion Euros in 2009 but recent cost cutting and the acquisition of Motorola's network infrastructure business seem to have made NSN more attractive to potential investors. Both owners stressed that the private equity interest was unsolicited and cautioned it was far from certain a deal would be reached. Speaking at a telecoms conference in Spain, NSN's CEO Rajeev Suri said the firm had not sought private equity investment, contending that its strong performance had made it attractive to outside investors. He went on to say that private investors had approached NSN after it had gained market share in key segments. "I take this unsolicited interest as testament to the progress we are making," Suri said.

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