Ericsson factory sell-off could save jobs

Swedish telecoms group is in advanced talks

Swedish telecoms equipment group Ericsson is in advanced talks to sell its two UK mobile phone factories in a move that could save more than 1,000 jobs, the Financial Times reported on Wednesday.

The FT said it was understood that Stephen Byers, the UK trade minister, had been closely involved in the effort to find buyers for the two plants.

Ericsson announced in March it planned to close the British plants -- in the Midlands and northeast England -- unless a buyer could be found for them this year.

The closures were part of a broad-ranging restructuring by the Swedish group, which last year suffered losses of more than $2bn (£1.4bn) on its mobile phones, the FT said.

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