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Nokia Siemens slim-down continues

Optical sold, German services unit to close

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On the heels of its decision to exit the optical networking business, Nokia Siemens Networks looks like it’s in further trouble, with a contract loss blamed for more job cuts at the company.

On December 3, NSN announced that its optical networking division is to land in the hands of a private equity group, Marlin Equity Partners. Marlin is a frequent investor in the tech space, most recently adding lithium battery manufacturer MicroSun to its portfolio via its Palladium investment vehicle.

The existing management team has been retained, with Germany chosen as the HQ and Herbert Mertz appointed CEO. NSN will concentrate on its mobile broadband business.

The divestment is part of a plan to shed 17,000 staff – 23 percent of its workforce – worldwide, at a hoped-for saving of $US1.35 billion next year. Under the slimming-down plan, the company has already flicked its IPTV business to Accenture, and is negotiating to offload its business support system unit (with Ericsson, Amdocs and others reportedly in the mix).

In another blow for NSN, Bloomberg is reporting that it’s lost a German contract with Deutsche Telekom, with 1,000 jobs to go by the end of next year.

It had acquired the services unit from Deutsche Telekom in 2007, taking over the business of servicing telephone lines under a five-year contract which has not been renewed. ®

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