Nokia, Motorola among possible buyers of Palm"”report

Speculation of a buyout of Palm heightened after an industry online publication reported a deal could occur this week, an Associated Press report said.

The Associated Press report said the maker of Treo smart phones and handheld computers hired investment banker Morgan Stanley a few weeks ago to explore its strategic options, including a possible sale, according to a person familiar with the situation.

Now, according to Unstrung.com, Morgan Stanley wants to close a deal by the time Palm releases its fiscal third-quarter results this week, the report said.

Citing unnamed sources, the business news Web site focusing on the wireless communications industry said the potential buyers included cell phone makers Nokia and Motorola, and private equity firms Texas Pacific Group and Silver Lake Partners, the Associated Press report further said.

Representatives of Morgan Stanley, Motorola, Texas Pacific Group and Silver Lake Partners all declined to comment on the report. Nokia did not immediately return a phone call seeking comment, the report said.

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