March 12, 2008 / 10:17 AM / 12 years ago

Motorola unit interests equipment makers: report

Ed Zander, chairman and chief executive officer of Motorola, gives a keynote speech at the 2007 International Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas, Nevada January 8, 2007. Motorola has had interest in its handset unit from foreign telecom equipment makers, according to mergermarket.com, a Financial Times Web site. REUTERS/Steve Marcus

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Motorola Inc MOT.N has had interest in its handset unit from foreign telecom equipment makers, according to mergermarket.com, a Financial Times Web site.

The report cited a source and banker as saying leading Asian telecommunications equipment and device makers are interested in discussing some form of partnership with the Motorola unit after initially rejecting a deal.

Motorola said in January it would explore a structural realignment of its businesses, with one option including the possible separation of its mobile devices unit.

Motorola officials were not immediately available for comment.

Chinese mobile phone maker ZTE Corp (0763.HK) told Reuters at a mobile trade fair in Barcelona last month it was in talks with Motorola about wider cooperation.

Asked whether ZTE would consider a merger with Motorola’s phone unit Xiong Hui, a marketing vice president for handsets, would not comment, but said ZTE was in talks about deepening its relationship with Motorola.

“We’ve been keeping in touch with Motorola on a wider cooperation,” Hui said.

(Additional reporting by Tarmo Virki; Editing by David Cowell)

Reporting by Yinka Adegoke; editing by Rory Channing

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