JP Morgan Chase Seeking a Buyer for ST-Ericsson

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The joint shareholders in the semiconductor firm ST Ericsson have reportedly hired the investment bank JP Morgan Chase to investigate a possible sale of the loss making company.

STMicroelectronics has already said that it is looking to get out of the joint-venture, while Ericsson has ruled out buying STMicroelectronics's stake in the company.

An ST-Ericsson spokeswoman confirmed to the Wall Street Journal that the company is working with an external advisor "to ensure the best possible future for ST-Ericsson," but declined further comment.

The joint-venture was set up in February 2009, with the merging of Ericsson Mobile Platforms and ST-NXP Wireless.

Ericsson contributed USD1.1 billion net to the joint venture, out of which USD0.7 billion was paid to STMicroelectronics.

At the time of formation, the company employed about 8,000 people - roughly 3,000 from Ericsson and approximately 5,000 from STMicroelectronics.

Since then, the company has struggled to reach profitability as revenues shrank, and the firm announced a restructuring programme earlier this year.

On the web: Wall Street Journal

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