Reuters reports that Nokia and Siemens have made little progress in their efforts to find a partner for their Nokia Siemens Networks (NSN) infrastructure joint venture, despite NSN having said in August 2010 that it had received “unsolicited expressions of interest” from potential partners. It was suggested that the partners are unable to agree a price tag for the minority stake in the venture that is available. While talks are being held with potential private equity investors, these are still at a stage described as “exploratory,” with one observer suggesting that “normally when deals are in that phase for a couple of months, it means that they are not particularly exciting.”
According to Reuters, interested parties include Bain Capital, Blackstone, and TPG Capital. It is not clear how much of a stake will be offered, although Nokia and Siemens are expected to jointly maintain a majority holding in the company. It was noted that while NSN was focussing on the integration of the two separate business (as was also the case for Alcatel and Lucent Technologies), Huawei and ZTE had begun competing aggressively in the market, while Ericsson remains a tough rival. According to figures released by Nokia in October 2010, NSN is currently narrowing its losses, with sales increasing year-on-year driven by improved 3G sales and an improved consulting services uptake.