Nokia to buy Siemens' stake in joint venture

The Finnish handset maker will pay about $2.2 billion for the half of Nokia Siemens Networks that it doesn't already own.

Nokia has agreed to purchase Siemens' 50 percent stake in Nokia Siemens Networks, the struggling joint venture between the two companies, for 1.7 billion euros ($2.2 billion).

The Finnish smartphone maker released a statement on Monday, local time, confirming the transaction, which is expected to close during the third quarter.

"Nokia Siemens Networks has structurally improved its operational and financial performance," Stephen Elop, president and CEO of Nokia, said in a statement. "Furthermore, Nokia Siemens Networks has established a clear leadership position in LTE, which provides an attractive growth opportunity."

The purchase had been expected. On Sunday, Bloomberg had reported, citing sources, that Nokia would announce the deal as early as Monday.

The company -- a joint venture of Finnish handset maker Nokia and Germany's Siemens formed in 2007 -- has struggled for profits in the face of the economic downturn and increasing competition. To improve profitability, the company has begun selling off noncore business units and laying off about a quarter of its workforce.

So far, the joint venture has sold off a unit that provides network equipment for wired networks and exited the market for WiMax, a wireless technology that has struggled to gain as much traction among carriers as 4G LTE.

Nokia Siemens Networks was reportedly in talks last September with various companies to sell of its business support systems , which helps telecommunications companies manage their billing and charging systems.

Updated at 9:20 p.m. PT Added details from Nokia's statement confirming the transaction.

 

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