Bengaluru, NFAPost: It has been reported that Huawei has planned to sell budget-brand smartphone unit Honor in a 100 billion yuan ($15.2 billion) deal to a consortium led by handset distributor Digital China and the government of Shenzhen.
The plan comes as US restrictions on supplying Huawei Technologies Co Ltd force the world’s second-biggest smartphone maker – after South Korea’s Samsung Electronics Co Ltd – to focus on high-end handsets and corporate-oriented business.
It also indicates little expectation for any swift change in the US perception of Huawei as a security risk following a change in US administration. The all-cash sale will include almost all assets including brand, research & development capabilities and supply chain management. Huawei could announce it as early as Sunday.
Main Honor distributor Digital China Group Co Ltd will become a top-two shareholder of sold-off entity Honor Terminal Co Ltd with a near-15% stake. Honor Terminal was incorporated in April and is fully owned by Huawei, the corporate registry showed.
Digital China, which also partners Huawei in businesses such as cloud computing, plans to finance the bulk of the deal with bank loans, the two people said. It will be joined by at least three investment firms backed by the government of financial and technology hub Shenzhen, with each owning 10% to 15%.
After the sale, Honor plans to retain most of its management team and 7,000-plus workforce and go public within three years, the people said, declining to be identified due to confidentiality constraints.
The U.S. government last year moved to prevent most US companies from conducting business with Huawei – also the world’s biggest telecoms equipment vendor – citing national security concerns. Huawei has repeatedly denied being a security risk.
In May, Washington announced rules aimed at constricting Huawei’s ability to procure chips featuring US technology for use in fifth-generation (5G) telecommunications network equipment and smartphones such as its premium P and Mate series