The fate of Nokia Siemens is back in the news, due to rumors that Siemens is in early talks over a potential sale of the telecom equipment joint venture.
Siemens has approached private equity groups including TPG and Blackstone Group to determine whether they are interested in buying out NSN, sources told the Wall Street Journal.
A less likely scenario being considered would be a sale of just Siemens' 50% stake in the JV, the sources said.
Siemens has clearly stated an intention to exit the NSN JV this year. A shareholder pact preventing each partner from divesting its stake without the approval of the other expired in April.
But Nokia may not be so interested in selling, and the Journal report claims that the company has been trying to put together a deal to buy out Siemens' stake to take full control of NSN.
One option said to be under consideration is seeking the funds for a purchase from Finnish sovereign wealth fund Solidium, although if the EU decides this amounts to state aid, it may raise regulatory roadblocks.
Another possibility is an IPO, which might make more financial sense for Nokia – analysts believe an IPO could value NSN at up to €7.5 billion ($10 billion), whereas they expect a takeover to be worth between €4 billion and €5 billion.