Sony Ericsson divorce imminent: report

Swedish mobile equipment maker Ericsson may soon be pulling out of its mobile handset partnership with Japanese electronics giant Sony, according to media reports.

Citing people familiar with the negotiations, Manager Magazine reports that Sony is interested in assuming sole ownership of the Sony Ericsson mobile handset venture.

According to the magazine, Sony is currently negotiating with banks to secure financing for the takeover, a task complicated by the recent economic downturn.

Rumours about an eventual split between Sony and Ericsson have surfaced before.

Back in August Sony chairman Howard Stringer told German newspaper Die Welt that his company was in ongoing discussions with Ericsson about making Sony Ericsson more successful, but refused to answer directly when asked whether or not the handset venture would exist in three years.

“We’ve had a hard year, but it’s not easy to buy out a partner,” he told Die Welt.

“We need to once again cooperate like we did two years ago or our joint company find its own solution.”

But as recently as one month ago at the World Mobile Congress, Ericsson CEO Carl-Henric Svanberg affirmed his company’s long term commitment to Sony Ericsson.

“It’s been great so far and we appreciate our relationship both with Sony and Sony Ericsson,” he told the Financial Times (FT) newspaper.

Ericsson spokesperson Jana Mancova refused to comment on the report to the Dagens Industri, instead refering to Svanberg’s earlier statements.

Sony Ericsson was created in 2001 as a joint venture between Sony and Ericsson. In the fourth quarter of 2008, the company reported record losses of more than 2 billion kronor ($239 million).


Ericsson suspends all Russia operations indefinitely

Swedish network equipment maker Ericsson said Monday that it was suspending all of its Russian operations over the war in Ukraine for the foreseeable future.

Ericsson suspends all Russia operations indefinitely

The telecom giant already announced in late February that it would stop all deliveries to Russia following Moscow’s February 24 invasion of Ukraine.

“In the light of recent events and of European Union sanctions, the company will now suspend its affected business with customers in Russia indefinitely,” Ericsson said in a statement.

The company added that it was “engaging with customers and partners regarding the indefinite suspension of the affected business.”

“The priority is to focus on the safety and well-being of Ericsson employees in Russia and they will be placed on paid leave,” it said.

READ ALSO: How has Sweden responded to Putin’s war in Ukraine so far?

Hundreds of Western firms ranging from Ikea to Coca-Cola, Goldman Sachs and McDonald’s have stopped operations in the country since the invasion, with French banking group Societe Generale announcing Monday it was selling its stake in Russia’s Rosbank.

Ericsson has around 600 employees in Russia, and is a “major supplier to the largest operator MTS and the fourth largest operator Tele2,” a company spokeswoman told AFP, adding that together with Ukraine, Russia accounts for less than two percent of revenue.

As a result, the equipment maker said it would record a provision for 900 million Swedish kronor ($95 million, 87 million euros) for the first quarter of 2022 for “impairment of assets and other exceptional costs,” though no staff redundancy costs were included.
Ericsson is due to publish its first quarter earnings on April 14.