After an eternity of “will they? won’t they?” rumours Siemens has announced that it is to flog its loss-making mobile-phones unit to the Taiwan-based BenQ Group.
The German conglomerate has stated that company will be shunted in the direction of the big boy BenQ business, who will acquire Siemens’ entire mobile phone business in a deal costing €350 million (~US$429m~£234.7m).
BenQ Group, which also produces mobile phones as well as a host of other consumer electronic gizmos like digital cameras, scanners and LCD screens, has confirmed that it is to acquire Siemens’ entire mobile phone business with more than 6,000 employees worldwide.
Through the haze of a soft focus lens, Klaus Kleinfeld, the CEO of Siemens AG whispered sweet nothings about his new bedfellow:
“With this partnership, we have found a sustainable perspective for our mobile phones business. BenQ and Siemens complement one another ideally. We will be uniting our strengths with BenQ’s highly successful consumer business. In addition, we also complement one another perfectly in terms of geography. This will give BenQ, which up until now has been very strong in Asia, access to the European and Latin American markets where we hold leading positions.”
Once they’ve got the company in their hot sweaty palms, BenQ will have the rights to use the Siemens brand and name for five years, with the business being headquartered in Munich, Germany.
Perhaps a little tipsy from wielding his fearsome buying power, BenQ Chairman & CEO K.Y. Lee roared “With the acquisition of Siemens’s mobile phones business, we are rapidly approaching our goal to become one of the world’s leading players in the mobile phone industry. Our expansion strategy will be strongly supported by this deal, as we can rely on a global organization with excellent employees, a well-established blue-chip customer base in the mobile business and a strong brand with high impact.”
BenQ are already one of the fastest-growing vendors in the mobile phones segment in their home Asian market and see the partnership with Siemens as a key part of their ambitious international expansion plans.
As part of the deal Siemens will acquire €50 million worth of new BenQ shares and will be budsying up with BenQ as a preferred partner for end-to-end mobile communication solutions.
“Siemens will continue to offer its customers in the telecommunications industry one-stop shopping for all their needs. With BenQ, we have found a partner who will supply us with the corresponding products. In addition, we will be collaborating closely in research and development. Moreover, we also intend to utilize synergies in jointly addressing customers and in our selling operations,” commented Lothar Pauly, the CEO of the Siemens Communications Group.
The agreement is subject to approval from BenQ’s shareholders and anti-trust authorities, with the company hoping to close the deal by the end of September.