Vertu, the British based luxury mobile phone manufacturer and a subdivision of Nokia, has recently been separated from its parent company. Vertu will be sold to private equity firm EQT.
The Vertu sale comes as part of a wider announcement from Nokia which includes a raft of further job cuts as the company battles to stay in competition with its other handset competitors.
Earlier this year, Samsung displaced the firm from its long-held position as the world’s largest mobile handset manufacturer by unit sales.
Nokia announced that it will cut its workforce further, by 10,000 bodies globally and shut down plants in order to stay on track to meet its goal to reduce its operating costs to €3 billion.
Nokia finds itself under pressure at both ends of the mobile handset market, with the Apple iPhone maintaining its popularity at the higher end, and, on the other hand, by Asian manufacturers specialising in cheaper models.
Other changes include the cessation of research and development projects in Burnaby, Canada and Ulm, Germany. The current changes are expected to be completely finalised by the close of 2013.
It is understood that Vertu’s buyer EQT, one of Northern Europe’s leading private equity firms, aim to continue to bring Vertu forward as a standalone company, with a plan to enhance its brand power with investments in product development to be matched by retail expansion and marketing drives.
In a deal thought to be worth somewhere in the region of €200 million, Nokia will retain a minority shareholding of 10%.
In other technology news, Apple, Microsoft and Google are all rumoured to be set to unveil new hardware devices in the coming months, amping up the heat in this innovative industry. Competition looks likely to drive down prices on established products, as well as ensuring that the latest products are priced competitively. From this perspective, Nokia’s sale does indeed appear timely.