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Mergers & acquisitions

Rumor: NSN Stake Sale Near

Nokia Networks is closing in on the sale of a 30 percent stake to a consortium comprising The Blackstone Group and Gores Group LLC , according to a report in Germany's Manager Magazin.

Speculation about potential external investments has been rumbling for a while and could become a distraction, so it's certainly in NSN's best interests for any stakeholder decisions to be made as quickly as possible. (See NSN Stake Sale Proving Tricky and Report: NSN In Stake Talks.)

Of course, any such decisions are in the hands of the current joint owners Nokia Corp. (NYSE: NOK) and Siemens AG (NYSE: SI; Frankfurt: SIE), so the NSN team can do little but wait and see how things turn out.

A spokesman for NSN said the company couldn't comment on the speculation, adding only that the vendor welcomed any interest from the investment community. Nokia and Siemens declined to comment.

Meanwhile, the NSN team has a separate M&A distraction -- namely, the pre-acquisition integration efforts ahead of its purchase of Moto's mobile networks business. (See Might NSN Choke on Its Moto Morsel?)

— Ray Le Maistre, International Managing Editor, Light Reading

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