Nokia's troubles continue

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Nokia's troubles continue

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Nokia has said it is still talking with “multiple parties” about the sale of its stake in Nokia Siemens Networks.

That follows a Financial Times report that two big US private equity firms are no longer interested in buying a majority stake in the struggling telecom equipment business.

Reportedly Kohlberg Kravis Roberts and TPG could not agree with Nokia on a price and level of control over the company.

“As we have said earlier, there has been unsolicited interest in NSN and we continue to be in constructive talks with multiple parties,” Nokia said in a statement.

Nokia and German industrial group Siemens merged their telecom equipment businesses on a 50-50 ownership basis in 2007 in a six-year deal, hoping to quickly reach double-digit margins, but the venture has struggled to make a profit.

At the same time a Reuters poll of analysts is predicting Nokia will report a loss for this quarter and next as it cuts prices trying to keep customers from defecting to rivals’ smartphones.

The analysts also forecast a meagre profit in the normally buoyant fourth quarter, as the once-undisputed leader in mobile phones loses the initiative to smartphones like Apple’s iPhone and devices based on Google’s Android software.

Nokia has been losing share rapidly to cheaper Asian rivals, and it said last week it would miss its sales and profit targets, blaming tough competition in China and Europe.