Having indicated late last year that its Nokia Siemens Networks (NSN) JV with Nokia was a possible mid-term initial public offering option, the CFO of Siemens, Joe Kaeser, has now stated there are no plans in 2011 for a stock market floatation.
The company has been searching for an investment partner since last August. After attracting initial interest, NSN is said to remain in talks with two potential investors, Blackstone Group and The Gores Group, about taking a minority stake of at least 30 per cent in NSN.
How these firms will react to Kaeser's statement, which he made in an interview with German TV station Deutsches Anleger Fernsehen, is not clear. The Siemens CFO said that any IPO would "hypothetically be seen as a bit early," which could have been read as waiting for NSN's financial performance to improve.
With both Nokia and Siemens becoming increasingly anxious to divest themselves of this network equipment JV, this backtracking over a possible IPO will add to the uncertainty that surrounds NSN.
Sentiment towards NSN will not have been assisted by the company's recent loss of a large LTE contract with TeliaSonera Norway. The deal called for the existing 2G and 3G NSN equipment to be replaced with 4G infrastructure supplied by Ericsson and Huawei. Industry watchers have been surprised by TeliaSonera not selecting NSN, given that it chose the supplier over Huawei in January 2010 to deploy nationwide LTE networks in Sweden and Norway.
- see this Dow Jones Newswires article (sub. req.)
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