Safran to sell mobile phones unit-report

PARIS, July 30 Wed Jul 30, 2008 4:18pm EDT

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PARIS, July 30 (Reuters) - French industrial conglomerate Safran SA (SAF.PA) is to sell its loss-making mobile telephone unit to investment fund Sofinova, business daily Les Echos reported on Wednesday.

In an extract from an article to appear in Thursday's edition, the newspaper said only 310 of the 700 workers at the group's development centres would be kept on, with the remaining 400 reassigned to other jobs.

Safran has been seeking a buyer for its mobile handsets division, Sagem Mobiles, which generated sales of 645 million euros ($1.01 billion) in 2007. The unit employed 3,318 staff at the end of March 2008, according to Safran's website.

A spokeswoman for the company said a statement would be issued on Thursday regarding a solution for the mobile unit but made no direct comment on the report. (Reporting by James Mackenzie; editing by Jeffrey Benkoe)

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