Nokia sells luxury handset brand Vertu


Troubled Finnish mobile maker agrees to sell 90 per cent of UK-based luxury handset brand to European private equity firm EQT

Nokia has agreed to sell 90 per cent of its UK-based luxury handset maker Vertu to private equity firm EQT VI for an undisclosed sum.

The troubled Finnish mobile maker, which has separately announced it is cutting 10,000 jobs and closing research divisions in Europe, said it believed the deal will help Vertu “focus” on growth opportunities.

Nokia will retain a 10 per cent stake in Vertu, which the firm says has recorded double digit growth over the past few years.

The deal is expected to close in the second half of this year.

EQT Partners partner Jan Ståhlberg said: “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.”

Vertu president Perry Oosting said: “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.”