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Ericsson and STMicroelectronics announce joint venture

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STMicroelectronics and Ericsson have announced an agreement to merge Ericsson Mobile Platforms and ST-NXP Wireless into a joint venture. According to the duo, the 50/50 joint venture will have the industry's strongest product offering in semiconductors and platforms for mobile applications and will be an important supplier to Nokia, Samsung, Sony Ericsson, LG and Sharp. The fabless joint venture will employ almost 8,000 people with pro-forma 2007 sales of USD 3.6 b.  ST is expected to exercise its option to buy NXP's 20 percent of ST-NXP Wireless before the closing of this transaction.

In the joint venture, ST contributes its multimedia and connectivity solutions as well as a complete 2G/EDGE platform and 3G offering, including customer relationships with Nokia, Samsung, and Sony Ericsson. Ericsson contributes its 3G and LTE platform technology as well as customer relationships with Sony Ericsson, LG and Sharp.

In a business where scale matters, the complementary product portfolios contributed by the parent companies will deliver significant scale and synergies by leveraging and expanding the existing strategic cooperation between Ericsson Mobile Platforms and ST-NXP Wireless, says the duo.

"By combining the complementary strengths and product offerings of Ericsson and ST in platforms and semiconductors the joint venture is well positioned to become a world leader," said Carl-Henric Svanberg, President and CEO of Ericsson. "The industry continues to develop at a swift pace and customers see benefits from our broad offering. This partnership is a perfect fit and secures a complete offering, as well as the necessary scale for technology leadership."

"ST is taking another bold step. By combining two industry-leading operations, we will create a world leader in mobile platforms and semiconductor solutions with even stronger capabilities to create customer value and continue to deliver rapid innovation," said Carlo Bozotti, President and CEO of ST. "In April, we announced a plan to join wireless resources with NXP to strengthen our wireless business and enhance our leadership position in a sector which we have targeted for strong organic and external growth and substantial expansion of financial returns. Now, we've expanded our ambitions and will be even better positioned to meet our opportunities."

Frans van Houten, CEO of NXP, said: "We understand the desire of ST to call our 20 percent stake in order to expand the ST-NXP Wireless joint venture with Ericsson. We support this next step that Ericsson and ST are taking to create the global leader in wireless semiconductors. To help ensure the success of the joint venture going forward all NXP's supply and support agreements will continue as planned. The additional proceeds of the 20 percent stake will enable NXP to further build leadership positions through innovation and investment in NXP's core businesses."