Philips transfers control of mobile phone operations to Chinese firm

Electronics giant Philips signed an agreement to transfer its remaining mobile phone activities to China Electronics Corp., an Associated Press report said.


The company didn't disclose financial details of the deal, the report said.


CEC will take over the responsibility for Philips' mobile phones business, which has an annual turnover of approximately 400 million euros ($501.7 million) and about 240 employees, mainly in the Asia-Pacific region and Eastern Europe, the Associated Press report said.


CEC will gain a license to market and sell mobile phones under the Philips brand across the world for the coming five years, the report said.


The transaction is subject to due diligence, government and regulatory approval and will probably be completed by the end of the year, the report said.


Philips CEO Gerard Kleisterlee has said he wants to focus on the company's health care and lifestyle products after the company announced in August that it was selling an 80.1% stake in its semiconductor unit to a group of private equity firms.


Philips plans to return 4 billion euros ($5.1 billion) to shareholders by the end of 2007 through a combination of dividends and share repurchases and will also look for chances to invest in 'additional opportunities for high-margin growth, both organically and through acquisitions.'