Nokia shareholders expected to give green light to sale today


Sale of manufacturer’s devices and services business to Microsoft expected to be given go-ahead, but shareholders are likely to protest against the €19 million being paid to departing CEO Stephen Elop

Nokia shareholders are expected to approve the sale of its devices and services business to Microsoft for $7.36 billion (£4.58 billion) today, with the deal set for completion in Q1 2014.

This is according to several news sources, which claim the decision will be made at an extraordinary general meeting in Helsinki later.

According to Reuters, the deal’s financial benefits are expected are likely to outweigh resistance from a small number of investors aggrieved over the sale of Nokia.

It added the deal is set to quadruple Nokia’s net cash position to almost €8 billion in the third quarter and allow it to return cash to shareholders. Since the deal was announced on September 3, Nokia’s share price has doubled, closing at €6 on Monday.

However, according to a report in the Financial Times, there are likely to be protests from shareholders over the €19 million (£16 million) payment made to former chief executive Stephen Elop, who will return to Microsoft when the deal is completed.

On September 20, Nokia said Elop will receive 18 months of his salary, a cash bonus and proceeds from a share incentive scheme. Microsoft will fund 70 per cent of the payment, with Nokia likely to fund the remaining 30 per cent.

Elop stepped down from his position as CEO when the deal was announced and became vice president of Nokia’s devices and services business. Nokia chairman of the board Risto Siilasmaa (pictured right) has become interim CEO until a permanent successor is found.

The former CEO is also reportedly one of the favourites to succeed Steve Ballmer (pictured left) as Microsoft CEO. When the deal was announced, Ballmer said he would retire within 12 months after 33 years at the technology manufacturer.