Business

Fujitsu looking to flog its smartphones biz – report

How's that 'digital transformation' going?

By Andrew Silver

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For its latest "digital transformation", Fujitsu is trying to sell off its mobile phone business, according to reports.

Two investment funds – Tokyo-based Polaris Capital Group and the UK's CVC Capital Partners – have expressed interest and Lenovo, Huawei and Foxconn are also in the running, according to the Nikkei Asian Times.

It's obviously been facing stiff competition from the main giants.

When it axed 1,800 jobs across the UK in October for reasons that had nothing at all to do with Brexit, a Fujitsu spokesman told The Register it was planning a "digital transformation".

It's still working on figuring out how to combine its PC business with Lenovo.

Nikkei Asian Times reports that bidding for the phone biz – spun off in February 2016 as Fujitsu Connected Technologies – could happen as early as September, for perhaps "hundreds of millions of dollars". As part of the deal, Fujitsu would stop development and manufacturing but try to maintain a minority stake with the same brand.

Ubiquitous Solutions, the division that houses both the PC and mobile phones businesses, grew 16.2 per cent in Q1 of Fujitsu's financial year 2017 to 154 billion JPY (£1.1bn). 77.8 per cent of the business is in Japan. Revenue from mobile phones rose on higher sales of mid-range smartphones and Raku-Raku smartphone models.

Polaris Capital Group, CVC Capital Partners, Huawei and Foxconn did not respond to a request for comment.

A Fujitsu spokesperson said: "This [Nikkei Asian Times] report was not based on any official announcement made by Fujitsu.

"In February 2016, Fujitsu split off its mobile phone business, and is currently considering various possibilities, including business alliances with other companies. However, it has not yet made a decision. Fujitsu will promptly announce matters that require disclosure as they arise." ®

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