Bloomberg News

Nokia Siemens Sells WiMax Wireless Division to Stem Losses

November 29, 2011

Nov. 29 (Bloomberg) -- Nokia Siemens Networks Oy, the joint venture between Siemens AG and Nokia Oyj, agreed to sell its WiMax wireless business as the company cuts expenses and jobs.

NewNet Communication Technologies, a company owned by Skyview Capital, agreed to buy the business and will take on about 300 employees in the deal, which is expected to close by the end of the year, the companies said in a statement today. The companies didn’t disclose the terms of the sale.

Nokia Siemens aims to eliminate 17,000 jobs by the end of 2013, sell real estate, cut businesses and consolidate jobs and suppliers to reduce annual expenses by 1 billion euros ($1.3 billion) in the next two years. WiMax, a high-speed network technology for mobile devices, has been overshadowed by a rival system called long-term evolution, which has been adopted by the largest telecommunications companies in the U.S. and Europe.

Nokia Siemens received a cash injection of 1 billion euros from its parent companies in September as Jesper Ovesen, the former chief financial officer of TDC A/S, was named to oversee the restructuring as executive chairman. The venture, set up in April 2007 to compete against Ericsson and Chinese rivals such as Huawei Technologies Co., has fallen behind and has been unprofitable in all but one quarter.

Siemens and Nokia abandoned talks with private-equity companies in July after the buyout firms failed to come up with a compelling offer. The companies said in September that Nokia Siemens would “become a more independent entity.”

Nokia Siemens had a 13.2 percent market share in 2010, tied with Alcatel-Lucent for third place in the mobile infrastructure market, according to researcher Gartner Inc. Ericsson was first with 34.1 percent and Huawei second at 15.6 percent.

--Editors: Simon Thiel, Robert Valpuesta.

To contact the reporter on this story: Amy Thomson in London at athomson6@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Kenneth Wong at kwong11@bloomberg.net


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