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Siemens struggles to find buyer

Avaya, Cisco and Nortel in the running

German electronics and engineering conglomerate Siemens AG is discovering that selling products can be much easier than selling parts of the company.

Talks to unload Siemens Enterprise Networks, an unprofitable unit that sells communications equipment to businesses, "are continuing" with several interested parties, but no buyer has been found yet, Siemens spokeswoman Monika Brücklmeier said.

The talks are focusing on either selling the unit completely or allowing partners to take a stake, she said.

Since taking over as chief executive officer, Klaus Kleinfeld has shifted the focus of the German engineering giant away from low-margin manufacturing areas, such as telecommunications equipment, computers and chips, to areas he views as potentially more profitable, including factory automation, power generation and automotive systems.

Siemens Enterprise Networks is one of the low-margin businesses that Kleinfeld wants to sell off.

Brücklmeier declined to confirm a report in the German edition of the Financial Times that claimed talks had collapsed with the buyout companies Permira Advisers LLP and Apollo Management LLP.

Avaya, Cisco and Nortel are among those rumoured to be holding talks with Siemens.

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