Report that Huawei is considering the acquisition of the struggling handset maker appears to be a case of an exec talking out of school.
Nokia's stock surged after reports speculating that the struggling Finnish handset maker would be an acquisition target of Chinese telecommunications giant Huawei. Huawei has since refuted the reports.
The Financial Times reported earlier this week that Richard Yu, chairman of Huawei’s consumer business group, said his firm could be interested in acquiring Nokia. The FT reported that Yu said Huawei is "considering these sorts of acquisitions" but that it "depends on the willingness of Nokia."
The Bloomberg news service reported on Thursday (June 20) that a spokesman for Huawei said in an emailed statement that the company has no plans to acquire Nokia. The spokesman went on to tell Bloomberg that Huawei has in its history only made a few small acquisitions, nothing along the lines of a company the size of Nokia.
And just to make it even more interesting, the Wall Street Journal reported Wednesday that Microsoft also was in talks with Nokia to acquire parts of the company, but that those talks fell apart.
In a blog on the subject posted Wednesday, Nick Spencer, a senior practice director at ABI Research, also threw cold water on the idea that Huawei would acquire Nokia. Among other things, Spencer declared that "Nokia's brand is yesterday's brand."
Spencer went on: "Nokia’s IP portfolio is valuable and would have an impact on Huawei’s cost to build, but I am unconvinced. Huawei’s lack of past acquisitions is further evidence to suggest this is an unlikely scenario."
Spencer believes that the comment by Yu was simply Yu's way of trying to drum up some PR for the launch of Huawei's Ascend 6 smartphone, or Yu simply talking out of school and creating headaches for his PR team.
I would tend to agree. It seems unlikely that Huawei would have any interest in acquiring Nokia. It seems to me a case where an executive may have gotten a little too cozy with a journalist and exaggerated, if nothing else. Or maybe Yu just wanted to make the point that Huawei was willing to consider anything in its quest to grab a bigger slice of the global handset market.
At any rate, I don't expect this will have a long term impact on Nokia's sagging fortunes. But it did give Nokia's stock a nice bump, at least for a day.