Huawei Technologies, the mainland's largest telecommunications equipment maker, has agreed to sell its stake in a mainland internet infrastructure venture to partner 3Com and Goldman Sachs for about US$2 billion, market sources said. 3Com, a United States-based computer network equipment maker, is desperate to take control of Huawei-3Com because it has almost no presence in the mainland market beyond the joint venture, they said. The company brought in Goldman Sachs to buy Huawei's 49 per cent stake, they added. 'US$2 billion is high but with growth in the sector of 20 to 30 per cent, that was the price,' a source familiar with the situation said. The agreement came after the two partners engaged in a bidding war to buy out each other. The companies topped each other's bids by US$30 million to US$40 million over the past 10 days, sources said. As part of the original agreement when the venture was started three years ago, Huawei and 3Com, which owns 51 per cent of the company, had the option to buy out the other partner from November 15. Each partner had three days to respond to the other's bid with an offer of at least 2 per cent higher on a per share basis, according to the rules of the joint venture. Huawei originally valued the venture, which makes and sells equipment that facilitates data transfer over the internet, at US$1.5 billion to US$2 billion, market sources said. Huawei, had it ended up the sole owner, planned to sell a majority stake to a private equity group. Bain Capital and Silver Lake Partners have expressed interest in acquiring a controlling stake in Huawei- 3Com. Bain Capital and Silver Lake had arranged about US$1 billion in debt to finance the transaction, sources said. Huawei-3Com's operational income surged 70 per cent to US$324 million in the first half of this year, it said this week.