Options Still Remain for Nokia Siemens Network, Companies Say

By Beecher Tuttle June 27, 2011

Nokia and Siemens on Monday rejected speculation that they are failing in their efforts to sell a controlling stake in their network equipment joint venture, Nokia Siemens Networks.

“Multiple options continue to exist for NSN and these are reflective of the company's performance in terms of both innovation and financial results,” Nokia told Reuters on Monday.

“We're pleased with the turnaround that NSN is executing, and we remain focused on our plans to bolster NSN's competitiveness even further,” the company added.

Monika Langendorf, a spokeswoman for Munich-based Siemens, reiterated Nokia's comments, telling Bloomberg that negotiations to sell a stake in the joint venture are continuing.

The comments come on the heels of a Wall Street Journal article that said the two companies are exploring other avenues after failing to ink a deal with potential bidders. Unnamed sources told the paper that talks to sell the venture to a group of private equity firms are unlikely to succeed.

Nokia Siemens Networks has reported only two profitable quarters since its inception in 2007. The joint venture recorded a more than $975 million operating loss last year, even with significant gains in revenue over the last three quarters.

The two companies began talks with private equity firms last year to sell a stake in the venture but have yet to consummate a deal. One person close to the situation told the Journal that a resolution may be months away.

One of the sources said that Nokia Siemens may be hesitant inking a deal with the private equity firms in question – which include Gores Group and Platinum Equity – because they are known for investing in distressed assets.

Siemens Chief Financial Officer Joe Kaeser told Bloomberg on June 21 that NSN would listen to investors who are looking to become shareholders, but “so far, there has been no one else who said he could do anything we felt we couldn’t do on our own.”

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Beecher Tuttle is a TechZone360 contributor. He has extensive experience writing and editing for print publications and online news websites. He has specialized in a variety of industries, including health care technology, politics and education. To read more of his articles, please visit his columnist page.

Edited by Jennifer Russell

TechZone360 Contributor

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