Nokia Siemens wants partner with industry experience, not just cash

Nokia Siemens Networks has started winnowing its list of potential financial suitors, but wants a partner that has experience in the wireless industry and not just deep pockets, a senior Siemens executive said.

"If the shareholder structure will indeed change before 2013, it depends on the industrial logic, on what interested parties have to offer," Siemens CFO Joe Kaeser told reporters in Munich, according to Bloomberg. "It's not so much a question of money, but a question of how to strengthen the asset going forward."

Nokia Siemens is a 50-50 joint venture between Finland's Nokia (NYSE:NOK) and Germany's Siemens, and executives from both companies have indicated that they are open to funding from a private equity firm in exchange for a stake in NSN. Executives from both Nokia and Siemens said they are committed to turning around NSN before considering their options when the JV ends in 2013.

Kaeser said NSN is directly interacting with two of the four private equity firms that have expressed interest in the equipment vendor, and that Siemens is "intensively" engaged in boosting the joint venture's value. The Financial Times has reported that Blackstone, Bain, TPG Capital and Silver Lake are among the interested parties.

Nokia Siemens has weighed down the balance sheets of both parent companies. The joint venture reported a $386 million operating loss in the third quarter. Nevertheless, the company is still in a relatively strong position among global vendors, and is looking to gain ground in North America through its $1.2 billion acquisition of Motorola's (NYSE:MOT) wireless networks business. 

For more:
- see this Bloomberg article

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