BenQ Mobile to be split up and sold

By John Blau, IDG News Service |  Mobile & Wireless

Attempts to find an investor for bankrupt German mobile phone maker BenQ Mobile GmbH & Co. OHG have failed, after the last potential buyer ended negotiations, the company's insolvency administrator said Sunday.

"I now see no realistic chance to sell the entire company in one piece and enable a new start," Martin Prager said in an e-mailed statement. "We have to acknowledge that the market has decided against BenQ Mobile."

The potential buyer wasn't disclosed.

German electronics and engineering giant Siemens AG agreed to sell its money-losing mobile phone manufacturing business to Taiwan's BenQ Corp. in June 2005, due to disappointing world sales of its handsets and high product costs. But in August 2006, the new owner announced plans to cease investment in the German sites after concluding they were uneconomic.

After "intensive inquires and market analysis," the last potential buyer withdrew its interest in buying the company, conceding that a profitable continuation of the BenQ Mobile's handset business was "not realistic," Prager said.

Other potential buyers, including Sentex Sensing Technologies Inc. and SF Capital LLC, failed to deliver acceptable offers, according to Prager. They were unable to meet creditors' requirements for a convincing concept to continue the manufacturer's business, an adequate price offer and concrete evidence of secured financing, he said.

Since October, Prager held talks with more than 100 potential buyers and entered into intensive negotiations with 30.

In the coming weeks, the insolvency administrator plans an auction to sell BenQ Mobile's assets, including real estate, machinery and patents.

About 2,300 employees in the Munich and Kamp-Lintfort plants were moved to transfer companies at the beginning of the year.

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