Pantech is in hot water. The company is under court receivership and is now for sale in South Korea. Pantech filed for a second debt restructuring back in February, but that wasn't enough to save the sinking ship. The company went up for sale last month, with an October 7 deadline for potential acquirers to express interest in purchasing them. ZTE was one of those companies that formally submitted a letter of intent to purchase Pantech. "ZTE expressed its interest in buying Pantech and submitted a letter of intent," said a Pantech official, although nothing has been officially announced.
According to reports, several companies have placed bids or submitted letters of intent for Pantech. Even LG expressed some interest. "Pantech is quite attractive in terms of its patent portfolio and technologies," said an official at LG Electronics. It's unlikely that LG will move forward with an acquisition of their own. It does go to show how valuable Pantech could be, however.
Pantech also took the wrappings off their new 2015 design guidelines, showing off their "endless metal design" concept. The design language looks sleek and cold, just what you would expect with a title like "endless metal design". If the company is sold, the purchasing company will probably scrap all of these ideas. Most companies that would want to acquire the Pantech are going after patents after all. Pantech owns a total of 291 U.S. patents, with 22 design patents and 269 utility patents. They also own 2,500 Korean patents, and around 200 patents in various countries in Europe. Whoever purchases the company gets all of their patents as well. ZTE is probably one of the highest bidders in this purchase competition. Because both companies are smartphone OEMs, it's a natural fit for ZTE to take over. Whether they would keep Pantech's business in place and just integrate it into their own, or scrap Pantech's operation and just keep their patents remains to be seen. What are your thoughts on the possibility of ZTE acquiring Pantech? Would it do ZTE some good to grab up all the patents that Pantech holds? Let us know in the comments.