Fri, Oct 20, 2006 - Page 11 News List

BenQ Mobile heading for overhaul

BLOOMBERG

BenQ Corp's (明基) German mobile phone unit, which filed for insolvency protection last month, will axe about two-thirds of its jobs in an overhaul that aims to cut costs and narrow the company's focus on design and development of handsets.

A "radical overhaul" is the only way to save the business, insolvency administrator Martin Prager said according to a statement handed out at BenQ's German headquarters in Munich yesterday.

BenQ is planning to cut about 1,900 of the 3,000 jobs, the statement said, adding that the measures could help save 1,500 jobs.

BenQ Mobile GmbH & Co, the Taiwanese company's German business unit, now aims to develop and design mobile phones for "big and well-know contractors."

The company hopes those contractors can then market the handsets under their own name, Prager said.

BenQ Mobile employs 3,000 workers, with offices in Munich and Bocholt and a factory in Kamp-Lintfort.

BenQ, Taiwan's biggest mobile-phone maker, last month stopped funding the unit less than a year after taking it over from Siemens AG, forcing the subsidiary to file for insolvency.

On Wednesday, BenQ said it would close 10 sales offices in Europe and Latin America, as well as a Brazil handset factory that it bought from Siemens.

BenQ will rebuild its sales operations in some European and Latin American markets, while continuing operations in China and India, markets which are less affected by the funding issue as they belong to the parent company.

BenQ shares rose NT$0.15 at NT$16.95 yesterday.

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