According to a report by the Financial Times, Nokia are in advanced talks to sell off its luxury brand Vertu that offers customers expensive and limited edition handsets and exclusive services, to private equity group Permira.
Should the sale be completed, Nokia could make approximately $265 million dollars from the brand which aims “to dispose of non-core assets to help turnround its devices division”.
The article also reveals that EQT, the Northern European private equity group, has also been in talks about buying the company however sources close the to process say that not much progress has been made.
Nokia who recently launched its Lumia 610, the first NFC Windows Phone, recently reported a $1.8 billion loss in the first quarter of 2012.
After revealing the sales figures above and as the company focuses on driving sales of its Windows-based Lumia smartphone platform, chief executive Stephen Elop said that “There are things we’re doing today that we may have to stop”.
The sale of Vertu would be an appropriate one to Permira as it would add to the company’s portfolio of other existing luxury technology brands including Valentino and Hugo Boss.
Vertu is an independently managed UK-based subsidiary of Nokia that was launched in 1998 by the Finnish company in order to reach the growing demand of the wealthy for exclusive brands at the time. The phone’s high price tags of more than £200, 000 are due to their “precious metal components”.