Indian smartphone maker Micromax eyes stake in South Korean firm Pantech

By VCPOST Staff Reporter

Apr 14, 2014 06:38 AM EDT

Indian smartphone manufacturer Micromax Informatics Ltd is interested in acquiring a staking in South Korean rival Pantech Co Ltd, according to two sources cited by Reuters. The planned purchase is part of its strategy for overseas expansion, the report said.

One of the unnamed sources said: "Micromax told Pantech that it was interested in a stake in the company," without detailing the size and value of the planned stake buy.

Pantech has been undergoing debt restructuring after enduring six quarters with significant losses due to tight competition in the market. As of now, nine creditor banks hold a combined 37% stake in South Korea's top three smartphone maker. Qualcomm holds a 12% stake in the company and Samsung Electronics Co Ltd owns 10%. Pantech has been struggling to keep up with much bigger competitors Samsung and LG Electronics, the report explained.

Micromax is known for producing mass-priced smartphones in India. Its cheapest Android phone sells for $50, which is almost half the value of a similar Samsung handset. The Indian firm is currently trying to enter the international markets and compete with much more expensive brands, Reuters reported.

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