A host of top US telecom companies and private equity firms are interested in purchasing a majority stake in Huawei Technologies’ handset division, the South China Morning Post reported. AT&T and Verizon Communications, America’s first- and second-largest telecom groups respectively are believed to be monitoring the situation. Private equity interest is led by Blackstone Group, TPG and Kohlberg Kravis Roberts. According to industry sources, the Chinese company can expect to raise at least US$2 billion through the sale of its handset business. Formal bids are due next week. Huawei is expanding rapidly overseas, although growth in the US, said to be the company’s primary target market, was flat last year. Huawei has set itself a sales target for 2008 of 50 million mobile phones and data cards, up from 20 million last year.