Coming to Terms With the NSN/Moto Deal

1:55 PM Market chatter suggests Nokia Siemens is seeking to renegotiate the wireless network assets acquisition

March 15, 2011

2 Min Read
Coming to Terms With the NSN/Moto Deal

1:55 PM -- The latest rumor swirling around Nokia Networks 's delayed US$1.2 billion acquisition of Motorola Solutions Inc. (NYSE: MSI)'s wireless network assets is that the Finnish/German joint venture is seeking to renegotiate the deal.

According to a Bloomberg report, NSN is looking to exclude Moto's GSM networks unit from the deal so that it can get clearance from the Chinese antitrust authorities, which recently extended its review period. Such a move would also lower the price.

NSN declined to comment on the speculation.

The deal was first announced in July 2010 and had been set to close by the end of last year. Now, though, it's going to be the second quarter of 2011 at the earliest before any takeover is completed. (See NSN's Moto Acquisition Delayed – Again , NSN Expands in North America With Moto Buyout and NSN to Buy Moto's Wireless Biz for $1.2B .)

The acquisition, which will make NSN a stronger player in the U.S. and some key Asia/Pacific markets (if it is ever completed), has been beset by problems, including a legal intervention by Huawei Technologies Co. Ltd. (See Court Finds for Huawei vs Moto, Huawei Comments on Moto, NSN Matter and Huawei Sues to Block Moto Sale to NSN.)

If NSN manages to get past the finishing line with this acquisition, it will feel like a major triumph for the joint venture, which has had a tough time in the M&A market in the past two years, having been outbid on a number of occasions for a couple of Nortel Networks Ltd. divisions. (See NSN Hopes Dashed as Ciena/Nortel Deal OK'd and Ericsson Delivers Knockout Blow to NSN.)

Then, though, it will have integration issues to deal with. Such issues might seem trivial currently compared with the hurdles NSN is currently facing just to get this acquisition signed off. (See Might NSN Choke on Its Moto Morsel?.)

— Ray Le Maistre, International Managing Editor, Light Reading

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