MSI/NOK – What’s The Deal?

HedgeFundLIVE — We spoke briefly this morning about the Motorola(MSI)/Nokia Siemans being delayed once again due to Chinese Regulatroy issues but I wanted to fill you in more:  

This is the second delay for the deal, which was originally announced in July and expected to close in December 2010. “This is ‘Phase Three.’ The third review,'” a Motorola spokesman said.

Schaumberg, Ill.-based Motorola is dependent on the $1.2 billion deal with Nokia Siemens, a joint venture of Finland’s Nokia Corp. and Germany’s Siemens AG, in order for it to move ahead with its restructuring. It must now wait another 60 days before China’s Anti-Monopoly Bureau of the Ministry of Commerce (Mofcom) makes a decision on whether or not to approve the transaction.

The spokesman did not comment on the reason why Chinese regulators extended the review.

In the meantime, Motorola’s spokesman says, the company  “will continue to work with [Mofcom] to seek approval and close this transaction as soon as possible.”

Perhaps the sale process has been offset by a lawsuit filed in January by Nokia rival Huawei Technologies Co., which alleges that Motorola’s deal with Nokia could transfer the Chinese company’s intellectual property over and shutter competition. The dispute is ongoing, however, and whether it will further affect Nokia’s acquisition in the second quarter remains to be seen.

It’s also worth noting that legislators in the US have applied more scrutiny to Chinese telecom companies, including as Huawei and ZTE. Reportedly, the two have been excluded from certain contracts due to national security concerns.

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