Siemens AG says its purchase of a 75% stake in Mercury Communications Ltd’s Customer Premises Equipment Voice division – the old Telephone Rentals Plc – will strengthen its position in the private telecommunications market in the UK (CI No 2,773). It already has a presence in this sector through the joint Siemens-GEC Plessey Telecommunications Ltd company GPT Communication Systems Ltd, but said that although there will be some overlap between the two, the market is huge enough for both. Specifically, the new purchase will concentrate on carrier-oriented customer premises equipment, and the existing venture will continue to serve customers looking for equipment that is independent of a network provider. The Mnchener adds that it was also strategically important to have a Siemens-branded company to raise its profile among clients. Mercury company denied it was selling the division because it has been a failure, saying that it was profitable, although it declined to reveal any figures. The division had a turnover of ú97m in the financial year ended March 1995. Mercury said it decided to retain 25% of the business to reassure its major customers that its relationship with them will continue, and to retain an interest for shareholders Cable & Wireless Plc and Bell Canada International Inc in the UK telecommunications equipment market. The new operation will remain headquartered in Milton Keynes, Buckinghamshire, and, although all jobs are not guaranteed, there are no plans for any redundancies, said Siemens.