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Huawei Confirms Plan for Handset Division Sale

Carriers AT&T and Vodafone and private equity firms such as Blackstone and TPG have been reported as possible buyers of a 50% stake

Huawei Technologies is looking for a buyer for its growing terminal business, a company executive has confirmed.

Carriers AT&T and Vodafone and private equity firms including Blackstone, TPG and Kohlberg Kravis Roberts have been reported as possible buyers of a 50% stake in the handset business in the past month.

Meddy Lu, director of Huawei's terminal division, said the company had appointed Morgan Stanley to handled the possible sale of the group.

"We are open to this option and considering to divest our handsets/terminal business, but we don't have a timetable yet," she said.

Lu said the handset business was in good health, accounting for about 10% of Huawei's total revenues.

Huawei shipped 30 million handsets and terminal cards up to May 2008, generating revenues of US$1.8 billion. Last year the Chinese vendor sold 40 million handsets and modem cards, worth US$2.6 billion, Lu told the Show Daily.

She expects global sales to nearly double to 70 million units by year-end, as 3G services continue to pick up outside of Europe and with strong growth in emerging markets.

Separately, Huawei unveiled a HSPA USB stick, three HSPA handsets and a HSPA gateway at CommunicAsia on Wednesday.

Lu said the new handsets and USB stick would be commercially available worldwide by the end of the month. Pricing would vary from market to market and operator to operator, she said.

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