Rivals thwart Nokia's bid for Symbian control

Nokia's attempt to win a majority stake in Symbian has been blocked by three fellow shareholders that have increased their holdings in the company.

Symbian announced Wednesday that Panasonic, Sony Ericsson and Siemens are all joining Nokia in snapping up some of the 31.1 percent of Symbian that Psion is selling. Back in February, Psion announced it was selling this stake in Symbian to Nokia. The move raised fears that Symbian's position as an independent entity was under threat. In March, Ericsson said it was planning to prevent Nokia from winning more than 50 percent of Symbian.

Ericsson has now succeeded in persuading its fellow shareholders to use their pre-emption rights, with which they have each been able to buy up part of Psion's stake. Siemens' share of Symbian has now risen from 4.8 percent to 8.4 percent, while Panasonic's has gone up from 7.9 percent to 10.5 percent. Sony Ericsson, which has taken over Ericsson's participation rights, is boosting its share from 1.5 percent to 13.1 percent. The upshot is that Nokia now owns 47.9 percent--up from 32.2 percent--compared with the 63 percent it had been hoping to achieve.

News source: C|Net News.com

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