Huawei Halts Mobile Handset Unit Sale

HONG KONG (Reuters) – Huawei Technologies [HWT.UL], China’s largest mobile equipment maker, said late on Wednesday it had halted the sale of a stake in its mobile handset business, citing market conditions.

The business was said to be worth more than $3.5 billion.

“Given the current global market condition and prevailing economic uncertainty, the interests of the company are best served by postponing the sale process,” the company said in a statement.

After several private equity firms showed interest in the business when the auction started, only two — Bain Capital and Silver Lake — submitted formal offers for the stake, sources involved with the matter told Reuters last week.

Shenzhen-based Huawei hired Morgan Stanley (MS.N: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) in May to sell a majority stake in the unit, which is made up of five business groups, among them mobile handsets, data cards for laptops, and routers for home use. (Reporting by Alison Leung and Michael Flaherty; Editing by Ken Wills)