Siemens CFO chills speculation on sale of NSN stake

Nokia Siemens Networks should focus on gaining market share and profitability, a senior Siemens executive said, comments that appear to put a sale of Siemens' stake in its equipment joint venture with Nokia (NYSE:NOK) on the back burner. 

"The top priority for Siemens is increasing further the market share (of NSN)," Siemens CFO Joe Kaeser told reporters in Frankfurt, according to Reuters.

Nokia Siemens' parents have been exploring the possibility of selling a stake in the firm to private equity firms since the second half of last year, but no definitive arrangements have been announced. Kaeser seemed to indicate that a stake sale was not a top priority at this point; he said that such a sale "is not a determinant in the business development" for Nokia Siemens, and that a sale is an option that is "not interesting."

According to a Dow Jones Newswires report, which cited unnamed sources, two private-equity groups--the Gores Group with Platinum Equity as well as KKR with TPG--have been given access to NSN's finances.

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 U.S. as well as Japan.    

For more:
- see this Dow Jones Newswires article (sub. req.)
- see this Reuters article

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