Report: Nokia, Siemens abandon private equity push for NSN

Nokia (NYSE:NOK) and Germany's Siemens have decided to stop attempting to sell a controlling stake in Nokia Siemens Networks to private equity firms, according to a report in the Wall Street Journal.

The report, which cited unnamed sources familiar with the matter, is the latest twist in a nearly year-long saga over whether the infrastructure vendor's parents will sell a stake in the company to a private equity firm. According to the report, Nokia and Siemens will now explore a "self-help" route for NSN, which will basically involve the parent companies pumping more cash into the joint venture.

Gores Group and Platinum Equity and KKR and TPG reportedly were in discussions to purchase a stake.

Nokia spokesman James Etheridge said there are still "multiple options" for NSN. "NSN has been executing a turnaround and we're pleased with progress," he told FierceWireless. "We remain focused on our plans to strengthen NSN's competitiveness even further."

Nokia Siemens has reported three straight quarters of revenue growth, but only two profitable quarters since it was formed in 2007. In the first quarter, Nokia Siemens narrowed its operating loss to $203 million, down from $322.5 million in the year-ago quarter. Sales clocked in at $4.6 billion, up from $3.94 billion in the year-ago period. The company also closed its $975 million acquisition of Motorola Solutions' (NYSE:MSI) wireless networking business at the end of April, after months of delays. That deal is expected to improve NSN's position in the United States and Japan.

For more:
- see this WSJ article (sub. req.)
- see this Bloomberg article

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