January 26, 2001, 10:59 AM — JAPAN'S NEC, AS part of an ongoing corporatewide restructuring program, is considering the sale of most of its overseas manufacturing facilities, a company spokeswoman said Friday.
"NEC Networks has around 20 subsidiaries overseas and all have been on the table [for discussion] and we have been studying them one by one," said Akiko Shikimori, a spokeswoman for NEC. "We have to carefully consider how to deal with them and we have not yet decided to sell any of them."
The units are located around the world and manufacture products as diverse as cellular telephones and computer network routing equipment.
Earlier Friday, the Nihon Keizai Shimbun business daily reported that NEC has already begun negotiations on the sale of eight units. Shikimori dismissed the number as speculation, although she said that negotiations are underway regarding the sale of Technologies NEC de Mexico SA de CV, a manufacturing unit based in Mexico.
Additionally, the newspaper said NEC is considering turning 13 major overseas manufacturing units into independent companies that will work for NEC and other companies on a contract basis.
Three overseas manufacturing units, NEC do Brasil, NEC America, and NEC Technologies (U.K.), have already been converted into independent companies, Shikimori said.
NEC last month announced the sale of the U.K. unit, which produces mobile phone handsets, to contract manufacturer Celestica. As part of the agreement, Celestica will supply NEC with handsets to be sold under the NEC brand.