Nokia sells Vertu to EQT VI
Mobile handset firm Nokia today said it will sell its luxury mobile brand Vertu to private equity firm EQT VI for an undisclosed amount.
Nokia’s plans to sell the subsidiary were first revealed last month and it was believed that UK-based Permira, who already own several luxury brands, were in pole position to acquire “the world’s most expensive phone brand.”
Vertu was founded in 1988 and maintains its headquarters in Church Crookham, the UK. With a workforce strength numbering at almost 1,000 employees across the globe, the brand has reached 66 countries worldwide.
Vertu’s cellphones can feature crystal displays and sapphire keys, costing more than 200,000 pounds ($320,000) due to the precious metal components.
Nokia first signaled its intention to sell Vertu in December, and recently said it plans to dispose of “non-core assets”.
The transaction, the terms of which are confidential, is expected to close during the second half of 2012, subject to customary regulatory approvals and closing conditions. Nokia will retain a 10% minority shareholding in Vertu.
Earlier this year, the luxury phone maker launched a trio of phones to welcome the Year of the Dragon, complete with precious stones and top-grade metals, plus a hand-engraved four-claw dragon on the battery cover.