Nokia, Siemens confirm NSN investment talks: report

LONDON Sun Aug 29, 2010 5:54pm EDT

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LONDON (Reuters) - Nokia and Siemens have confirmed talks with private equity firms over a possible investment into Nokia Siemens Networks (NSN), the Financial Times said on its website on Sunday.

Company executives told the newspaper that both partners were committed to completing a turnaround before considering their options after their joint venture ends in 2013.

"We are always willing to talk to those who want to bring ideas and capital to the industry," Nokia's Chief Financial Officer Timo Ihamuotila told the FT.

He also said both partners will continue as shareholders of the wireless network equipment maker "in any likely scenario."

A potential deal could be worth up to $1 billion and has drawn interest from "a handful" of potential investors, the newspaper cited a person close to the situation as saying.

Among private equity firms eyeing a stake in the company are Blackstone, TPG Capital and Bain Capital, sources familiar with the situation told Reuters last month.

NSN in July struck a deal to buy Motorola's telecom network equipment business for $1.2 billion in an effort to penetrate the U.S. market, where it has struggled.

Siemens Chief Financial Officer Joe Kaeser told the FT the deal made NSN "more attractive for potential investors," adding that private equity investment into the company "could be a good lever for its future business development."

Rajeev Suri, NSN's chief executive, told the FT private equity investment could give the business "greater strength and flexibility," but said fresh capital was not essential.

"We're not just looking for financial investment but also for new ideas," he said.

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