May 19, 2011 / 11:55 AM / in 7 years

Siemens wants NSN to grab market share

FRANKFURT (Reuters) - Siemens will push its struggling telecom gear venture Nokia Siemens Networks to win market share, Siemens’ finance director said on Thursday.

“The top priority for Siemens is increasing further the market share (of NSN),” Joe Kaeser told reporters on Thursday on the sidelines of a conference.

NSN, a joint venture between Europe’s biggest conglomerate and Nokia, has struggled to make a profit since its formation in 2007, hit by falling operator spending and Chinese rivals’ cheaper products.

Chinese vendors Huawei, ZTE and market leader Ericsson have aggressively grabbed a share of the global market over the past few years.

Nokia and Siemens have been considering a listing of NSN as both look to sell some of their shareholdings.

Kaeser said on Thursday a sale of its stake in NSN “is not a determinant in the business development” of their telecom gear venture and a sale is an option which “is not interesting.”

NSN said in August its parents had started negotiations with private equity firms to sell a stake in Nokia Siemens Networks, while together maintaining a majority.

Sources told Reuters in November the owners had made little progress in efforts to find a partner.

Commenting on the Siemens group itself, Kaeser said on Thursday the German conglomerate’s focus remained on organic growth and any acquisitions would be “bolt-ons” in the range of a low-single-digit billion euros to complement existing businesses.

He told Financial Times Deutschland on Thursday that Siemens preferred organic growth due to market uncertainties.

“Given the latest environment in the market, we prefer investments in organic growth. The gap between our current sales of 70 billion euros ($100 billion) and our mid-term goal of 100 billion euros will not be closed in the short-term through acquisitions,” the German daily quoted him as saying.

Reporting by Edward Taylor

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