Siemens to speed up efforts to cut NSN stake -FT

Sun Feb 24, 2013 7:09pm EST

Feb 24 (Reuters) - German industrial bellwether Siemens will speed up efforts to exit or cut its 50 percent stake in its telecom equipment joint venture with Finnish phone maker Nokia, the Financial Times reported on Sunday.

Siemens and Nokia will be free to take action regarding their stake in Nokia Siemens Networks (NSN) in April when a six-year shareholder agreement expires, following which Siemens would look to cut its stake in the venture to below 20 percent, the FT said, citing a person close to Siemens.

Siemens would ideally like a private equity investor or a consortium with a solid record in technology to take a controlling stake in NSN, the FT said on its website, citing the person close to Siemens.

An NSN spokesman said ownership questions were for the company's parents.

Nokia and Siemens could not be reached for comment outside regular business hours.

NSN has shown signs of a turnaround in recent quarters, helped by a massive restructuring drive last year that cut around 20,500 out of 74,000 jobs.

Nokia and Siemens have been looking to exit the joint venture through a buyout or public offering, and analysts expect a decision in the next few months.