Wednesday, 08 April 2020

Nokia mulls asset sale or merger

by Harry Baldock, Total Telecom
Thursday 27 February 20

The Finnish giant has reportedly hired advisors to help weigh their options

2019 was a difficult year for Nokia, with the company struggling to keep the pace of its rivals Ericsson and Huawei.    In October, the company decreased its earnings forecast and halted its dividend, blaming its fall in profitability on its choice of expensive 5G components…

2019 was a difficult year for Nokia, with the company struggling to keep the pace of its rivals Ericsson and Huawei. 
 
In October, the company decreased its earnings forecast and halted its dividend, blaming its fall in profitability on its choice of expensive 5G components. The company’s shares have been declining for the past year, falling around a third in value.
 
Now, Bloomberg is reporting that Nokia has hired advisors to help it explore the possibilities of asset sales and merges.  
 
The Bloomberg report speculated on a potential merger with Ericsson, but this seems unlikely. The RAN technology ecosystem is already small enough, and the combining of two of the world’s biggest vendors would surely trigger antitrust regulators around the world. 
 
If Nokia does intend to seek new partners, it seems more likely they will come from the technology and wireless carriers, simply due to the lack of viable options in its own sector. 
 
At the start of this month, the US Attorney General made the bizarre suggestion that the US government could buy a stake in Ericsson or Nokia, in a move to combat Huawei’s dominance. 
 
If the US really wants to find a way to help boost Huawei’s competitors, Nokia seems like a great candidate right now.
 
As for the immedaite future, Nokia's stated goal for 2020 is simply to stem the bleeding and retain its market share this year, noting that it will report on this metric in all of its quarterly financial updates.
 
 
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