Nokia Corp. has announced that it had agreed to sell off Vertu, its division that makes luxurious mobile phones. Although Vertu's sales continue to increase, Nokia thinks that the unit no longer fits into the corporation and the best option is to sell it to enable the brand to focus "on increased opportunities for growth in the luxury category". In fact, Nokia simply cannot afford doing anything more for Vertu due to massive losses.
"This is a logical next step in the evolution of Vertu as the world leader in luxury mobile products. Since Vertu began in 1998, our business has grown every year, due to the efforts of our talented workforce and the unique products and services we offer to our customers. We believe that EQT VI will position Vertu to continue to grow and lead in our marketplace," said Perry Oosting, president of Vertu.
Vertu offers an unrivalled range of category leading mobile phones that are aesthetically desirable and are rather advanced in terms of functionality compared to other luxury handsets. With the rise of smartphones in the recent years, customers started to demand advanced features in addition to expensive materials and other distinctive aspects of Vertu cell phones. Moreover, the new types of clients require something more than just pristine craftsmanship and modern technology, something that Nokia still has not developed due to money-losing strategy of the company.
Vertu prides itself on being a pioneer in delivering relevant, tailored luxury information and services direct to mobile handsets through Vertu Concierge, and continues to expand this proposition to deliver unparalleled customer service.
"With its strong brand, undisputed category leadership and attractive growth outlook, Vertu fits well with EQT VI's investment strategy. EQT VI is excited about the opportunity to develop Vertu as a standalone company and plans to drive the development of the luxury mobile phone category through significant investments in retail expansion, marketing and product development," said Jan Ståhlberg, partner at EQT Partners and investment advisor to EQT VI, the new owner of Vertu.
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, which will likely allow the company to ensure that the luxury phone maker will continue to use its technology going forward.