Nokia Siemens' Motorola buy hits delay

Proposed acquisition of Motorola's wireless network infrastructure assets still pending clearance from Chinese authorities, says Nokia Siemens, adding that the deal will likely be finalized in early 2011.
Written by Vivian Yeo, Contributor

Nokia Siemens Networks (NSN) is expected to delay its purchase of Motorola's wireless network infrastructure assets after the company disclosed it has not obtained the necessary regulatory clearance for the deal.

In a statement Tuesday, the Finnish-German company said the Anti-Monopoly Bureau of China's Ministry of Commerce is still reviewing the proposed transaction. The US$1.2 billion deal was announced in July, and had been originally targeted to close by year-end.

Rajeev Suri, CEO of Nokia Siemens Networks, said in the statement the delay was "disappointing", but added that the company expects to finalize the acquisition in early 2011.

"We are continuing to work closely with the authority in China to finalize the clearance process in that country," he said. "We recognize its efforts in addressing this case as a matter of importance."

According to NSN, the deal has been given the green light by antitrust authorities in the United States, European Union (EU), Brazil, Japan, Russia, South Africa, Taiwan and Turkey. The EU approved the deal two weeks ago, news wire Reuters reported.

Motorola had announced in February it would split into two separate companies in 2011--one for its mobile devices and home entertainment technology and the other comprising its networking and enterprise mobility businesses. The company confirmed in a statement on Nov. 30 that the separation will be formal from Jan. 4, 2011, with the businesses renamed Motorola Mobility and Motorola Solutions.

NSN said around 7,500 employees from Motorola's public carrier wireless network infrastructure business are expected to join the company when the transaction closes. Research and development sites in the U.S., China and India owned by the Motorola division will also be transferred to NSN.

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