BenQ Mobile to Be Carved Up and Sold Off

In a statement distributed via email, BenQ Mobile‘s insolvency administrator Martin Prager said negotiations with its last potential buyer had ended without a deal, and he sees “no realistic chance to sell the entire company in one piece and enable a new start.” BenQ Mobile’s plan now: auction off its assets, including real estate, facilities, machinery, patents, and other intellectual property.

The name of the final potential buyer wasn’t disclosed, but Sentex Sensing Technologies and SF Capital have both been named as potential suitors for BenQ’s operations. According to reports, Prager has held talks with more than 100 potential buyers, and serious negotiations undertaken when more than two dozen.

BenQ Mobile’s path has been grim in the last few years. When German electronics firm Seimens sold the firm to Taiwan’s BenQ in 2005, it was already a money-losing proposition due to high costs and lower-than-expected handset sales; BenQ spent some $600 million trying to resurrect the mobile phone brand, but in August 2006 announced it would cease throwing money at the German operations, and last October announced a plan to sell off non-core assets. About 2,300 employees at BenQ Mobile’s plants in Kamp-Lintfort and Munich have been shifted to transfer companies since the beginning of 2007.

Prager wrote in his statement: “We have to acknowledge that the market has decided against BenQ Mobile.”

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