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Nokia remains in talks with Permira over sale of Vertu

16 мая 2012

Nokia Corp. is still in talks with Permira over the sale of its luxury mobile handset business Vertu, a person familiar with the situation told Dow Jones Newswires on Monday.

The struggling Finnish handset maker hired Goldman Sachs to run an auction process several months ago and is looking to raise as much as EUR200 million on a sale.

Vertu is the biggest player in the luxury handset market with its $300,000 diamond-clad phones one of the much sought-after status symbols in places like Russia and China. Permira would hope to capitalize on the potential for growth in emerging markets, where it has driven value from its other luxury good companies such as fashion retailer Hugo Boss.

Reports suggest that Nordic buyout firm EQT that had expressed earlier interest in Vertu is no longer in the process.

Nokia doesn't break out earnings for its Vertu brand, but the company has continued to struggle over the past few years as it lost market share to rival global giants. Earlier this year, South Korea's Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd. overtook Nokia as the world's largest handset maker in unit terms following Nokia's decision to replace its Symbian software with Microsoft Corp.'s Windows operating system in new smartphones.

Nokia's latest devices have so far failed to gain traction among consumers despite heavy discounting.

Just last month, the company also saw its credit downgraded by all the three major credit rating institutions, with both Fitch and Standard & Poor's now having junk ratings for Nokia's credit.


Источник: Total Telecom

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