LG's smartphone business still for sale; Talks with Vingroup collapse
LG Electronics is planning to sell its mobile business after racking up $4.5 billion in losses over five years. We recently reported that the company had chanced upon a possible buyer for its smartphone business. The Korea Times now reports that talks to sell the smartphone business to Vietnamese conglomerate Vingroup have fallen apart. Here are more details.
Vingroup reportedly offered price below LG's expectations
LG had been negotiating with Vingroup for the sale of its smartphone manufacturing facilities in Vietnam and Brazil. The report cites a high ranking industry official who said that the discussions collapsed as the Vietnamese conglomerate offered a price lower than LG's expectations. While attempting to sell the smartphone business, LG is focusing efforts on other areas such as electric vehicle components.
LG could realign Brazil, Vietnam facilities to make home appliances
Vingroup is the largest listed firm in Vietnam and was speculated to be the right bidder for the deal as it could expand into high-tech industries. However, the official told The Korea Times that there would be no more negotiations with Vingroup and LG would look for another buyer. He added that the production facilities for sale can be realigned to produce home appliances.
LG CEO said possibilities are open, business operation under review
LG had previously issued a company-wide memo dispelling shutdown rumors. Company CEO Kwon Bong-seok said that all possibilities are open and the direction of the smartphone business operation is being carefully reviewed. Despite LG's attempts to wow people with devices such as the LG WING and LG Velvet, the company has managed to retain a dismal 13 percent share in the smartphone market.
Company denies shelving LG Rollable project amid sale talks
Meanwhile, the company has denied having shelved the LG Rollable it teased at CES earlier this year. LG's last-ditch attempts to rescue the dying business included reorganizing product line-ups, rapidly increasing outsourcing, and trying out offbeat form-factors. While smartphone business losses have piled on for 24 consecutive business quarters, in December, LG announced a tie-up with Magna International to manufacture motors for EVs.