BenQ's cellphone branch could be split up and sold
Feb 28, 2007
The bankrupt German handset branch of BenQ Corp (æ˜ŽåŸº) will be split up and sold, the insolvency administrator appointed to find a buyer for the former Siemens company said on Saturday.
"The last interested party has withdrawn. There is no realistic chance that the business can be sold as a whole," said Martin Prager in Munich, confirming a report in Germany's Sueddeutsche Zeitung.
Munich-based BenQ Mobile filed for insolvency protection in September, a year after the firm took over the struggling unit from Siemens AG and began an unsuccessful bid to turn it around.
Prager would not comment on the newspaper's report that splitting up the firm would mean that almost all of the 3,000 people - who until last year had worked at the company's headquarters in Munich and at the manufacturing facilities in Kamp-Lintfort and Bocholt - would become jobless for good.
Some 550 workers have already found new jobs, some of them with Siemens.
Mobile phone production at Kamp-Lintfort, in the state of North Rhine-Westphalia, for its part, ceased at the end of last month.
The remaining employees are to continue receiving most of their previous wages for up to a year under a transitional arrangement largely financed by Siemens.
Siemens sold the loss-making company to BenQ in 2005 and its collapse the following year triggered allegations the mobile phone maker had been closed down in a manner that reduced losses to Siemens.
Siemens spokesman Marc Langendorf said on Saturday that the decision on how to dispose of the company was up to the administrators.
"Our central aim was to help the staff," he said.
German media reports said that BenQ Mobile is to be broken up for separate sale with considerable loss to its creditors.