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Insolvent BenQ Mobile faces liquidation

Struggling European mobile operation faces closure after administrators fail to find new investment
Written by Graeme Wearden, Contributor

Attempts to save BenQ Mobile from liquidation appear to have failed.

Insolvency proceedings were opened in Germany on Monday, after administrators were unable to find any investors willing to buy the struggling company.

BenQ Mobile filed for insolvency in September 2006, when the Taiwanese hardware manufacturer said it was pulling out after suffering "unsustainable losses". Under German law, a company has three months' grace after filing for bankruptcy before formal insolvency proceedings begin.

Up to 3,000 staff could lose their jobs unless a buyer comes forward for the business.

BenQ Mobile was created less than two years ago, when BenQ bought Siemens' mobile arm. At the time, Siemens effectively paid BenQ £50m to take the business off its hands. BenQ had hoped to develop a mobile handset rival to major players such as Nokia, but its market share has declined.

The collapse of BenQ Mobile underlines how competitive today's handset market is. However, analysts have also blamed the company's management.

"Many of the product launches were fairly poor," said Windsor Holden at consultancy firm Analysis, back in September. "Even when the product seemed promising, the company failed to launch on time. It's been a mess, frankly."

The administrators are expected to release new information about BenQ Mobile's future on Wednesday.

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