March 22, 2012 / 1:15 PM / 7 years ago

Ericsson raises stake in Korea JV

STOCKHOLM (Reuters) - Ericsson (ERICb.ST), the world’s top mobile network equipment maker, has increased its stake in joint venture LG-Ericsson as it looks to consolidate its position in the fast-growing South Korean market.

Ericsson (ERICb.ST) bought bankrupt Nortel Networks’ controlling stake in the venture with LG Electronics (066570.KS) for $242 million in 2010 to gain a foothold in Korea.

The Swedish company said on Thursday it now held a 75 percent stake in LG Ericsson, up from the 50 percent plus one share it had previously.

LG-Ericsson — a supplier to major Korean telecom operators such as KT Corp (030200.KS), LG Telecom and SK Telecom (017670.KS) — was set up in 2005.

Cash-rich Ericsson, which last year sold its stake in its mobile phone joint venture Sony Ericsson to Sony (6758.T) for just over 1 billion euros ($1.32 billion), gave no financial details of the deal.

Ericsson has another joint venture company, struggling chip maker ST-Ericsson.

Analysts believe Ericsson will probably sell its stake in ST-Ericsson after the chip-maker returns to profitability, although Ericsson has said it is a long-term, strategic holding.

($1=0.7582 euros)

Editing by Mike Nesbit

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