Rajeev Suri, CEO of Nokia Siemens Networks (NSN), talked up the “strategic advantages” of a private equity investment in the company, following months of speculation that parents Nokia and Siemens are looking for an outside investment in the company. According to Bloomberg, Suri noted that in addition to the possibility of new capital for strategic investment, “these companies also bring expertise and knowledge, and they just bring a network where we sometimes don’t see it and I believe it’s good to have a strong base of three shareholders.” While Suri did not comment on possible timings, it was suggested that a deal could be completed by the end of the second quarter. Potential partners include TPG Capital and Gores Group.
While NSN acknowledged it had received approaches from potential private equity partners in August 2010, it was subsequently suggested that it had made little progress due to differences of opinion about the price tag. The failure to secure a deal also indicated that the transaction may not be “particularly exciting,” it was noted. However, NSN has regained some of its momentum in recent months, with Dow Jones Newswires reporting that Suri has “a lot of confidence and conviction” about the business in 2011. NSN is also in the process of acquiring the network infrastructure business of Motorola, although this has been delayed due to the failure to secure regulatory approvals from the Chinese authorities, and with Huawei taking legal action to protect its intellectual property rights.