Nokia Siemens abandons talks to sell stake to private equity firms

Nokia Siemens Networks abandoned talks with private equity firms to sell a stake in the infrastructure vendor. Nokia and Siemens, the owners of the joint venture, said that they were in the best position to further enhance the value of the company.

Suri

With few details as to how this might be achieved, NSN said in a statement that, "along with ongoing efforts to generate cost savings, the company plans to strengthen its capabilities in mobile broadband, services and customer experience management to drive and support customer roadmaps." A report in the Wall Street Journal  in late June said talks with a consortium that included Gores Group and Platinum Equity were unlikely to go anywhere.

While both co-owners declared their ongoing commitment to NSN, no mention was made as to whether the support extends to making additional cash investments to keep the company alive. Adding to the statement, NSN CEO Rajeev Suri, said: "With us, they [Nokia and Siemens] share the common goal of ensuring that Nokia Siemens Networks will be a sustainable and powerful leader in the industry, benefitting from its strength in innovation."

Industry analyst, Tero Kuittinen, a partner with equity research firm MKM, told Reuters: "The timing for selling the unit could hardly have been worse; there are clear signs from companies like LG and ASML of the European handset market descending into a slump, and selling a mobile network company on the eve of a handset market downturn is a tough challenge."

NSN owners have been holding talks about the sale of NSN for over a year, and this failure to find a purchaser has impacted Nokia's share price, driving it down below €4 to its lowest point since January 1998.

For more:
- see this NSN release
- see this Reuters article

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