Taiwanese giant BenQ, formerly Acer, is to partner up with Siemens in a mobile phone business. With BenQ as the majority share holder, and with Siemens retaining a 10 per cent stake, the new partnership will be similar to the Sony Ericsson joint venture founded in 2001. It is likely that the deal will be approved today.

The deal – which will cost Siemens 350 million euros ($431 million) before tax – will enable BenQ to double its annual revenues to $10 billion, the company said, and catapult it out of relative obscurity into the world's top 10 mobile handset vendors.

BenQ will use the Siemens brand name for five years and will take over some high-profile sports sponsorship contracts, including one with star soccer team Real Madrid.