Copying and distributing are prohibited without permission of the publisher
Permira talks to Nokia about buying Vertu
30 April 2012
Nokia reported to be in advanced talks with UK private equity firm Permira about selling Vertu for €200m
Nokia is in advanced discussions to sell UK-based luxury mobile phone brand Vertu to private equity firm Permira, in a deal which may provide Nokia with €200 million.
Nokia has been more popular for its mass market phones, and the decision to sell Vertu is part of the company’s efforts to dispose of non-core assets and boost cost savings in its devices division, as it looks to concentrate on driving sales of its Windows-based Lumia smartphone platform, according to the Financial Times. Nokia has selected Goldman Sachs as advisor for the sale.
Private equity firm EQT has also been in discussions to buy Vertu, but these talks may be on hold at present. Luxury goods companies are also said to be interested in Vertu. However, the concerned parties have declined to comment on the report.
Nokia launched independently-managed subsidiary Vertu in 1998 to exploit the growing demand for mobile phones as a luxury brand.
The Vertu brand comprises hand-made phones which feature crystal displays, sapphire keys and exclusive ring tones, and can cost over £200,000 because of precious metal components used, said the report.
A source told the FT the brand equity makes Vertu — which has an annual revenue of about €200-€300 million — a viable acquisition target, and not its technology, and that the business offers the capacity to boost sales among the emerging affluent in nations across Asia and the Middle East. GTB
More from GTB
Nokia to sell Vertu phones business 08 Dec 2011
Nokia 'to exit Japanese mobile market' 04 Jul 2011