Report: Huawei shortlists five potential buyers

Five US private equity firms reportedly remain in the running to acquire a stake in the mobile business unit of China’s Huawei Technologies

Huwaei Technologies, a Shenzhen telecommunications network company, has reportedly shortlisted five private equity firms to sell a significant stake in its mobile products business. Four of the firms in the fray include Bain Capital Partners, Kohlberg Kravis Roberts, Silver Lake and a private equity division of Goldman Sachs, according to a report in the UK paper Financial Times.

It quoted people familiar with the sale as saying five firms have made it through to the second stage of bidding. Other global firms such as Blackstone, Carlyle Group and TPG were also interested in acquiring a stake, but they either did not submit their bids in the first round of bidding, or were rejected.

According to the report, Bain Capital is likely to win the bid because of its relationship with Huwaei. The two firms were involved in an attempt to acquire US IT networking company 3Com earlier this year, a deal which was ultimately called off as a result of US regulatory concerns about national security.

The paper said Huawei was prepared to divest 49 percent, but it may sell a larger stake if it is offered a premium by buyers. Any deal is likely to value the company at about $4 billion (€2.5 billion).

Huawei provides telecommunication networks and solutions to 35 of the world’s top 50 operators. Its portfolio of products includes mobile networks, broadband networks, IP-based products, optical networks, terminals and telecom value-added services.