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TMT legal update: Nokia Shareholders approve sale of mobile phone division to Microsoft

    • Technology, Media and Telecoms


    Precis – On 19 November 2013, Nokia announced that its Extraordinary General Meeting (“EGM”) approved the sale of substantially all of its Devices & Services business  to Microsoft.

    What? – The sale is expected to close in the first quarter of 2014, subject to regulatory approvals and other customary closing conditions. According to Nokia’s press release, more than 99% of the votes cast at the EGM were in favour of the proposed sale.

    So What? - Following the transaction, Nokia plans to focus on its three established businesses: NSN, its network infrastructure and services; HERE, its mapping and location services business; and Advanced Technologies, its  technology development and licensing business.

    Whilst this is a significant step forward for Nokia, it is also the end of an important chapter in Nokia’s 150 years history, because when the deal closes in 2014, Nokia, once the world’s largest mobile phone manufacturer, will be out of the devices business.

    For Microsoft, the transaction brings valuable mobile assets inside Microsoft which should accelerate Microsoft’s share and profits in phones and strengthen Microsoft’s overall position.

    It will be interesting to see how the Nokia-Microsoft collaboration progresses and also whether Microsoft will be able to catch up with other device providers in the market.

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