EQT VI to acquire Vertu from Nokia
Independent investment positions Vertu for future growth
Espoo, Finland - Nokia has agreed terms for EQT VI, part of the leading private equity group in Northern Europe, to acquire Vertu, the global leader in luxury mobile phones, from Nokia.
Nokia believes that this is the best option for the next step in Vertu's journey of delivering excellence, enabling the brand to focus on increased opportunities for growth in the luxury category.
"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, Investment Advisor to EQT VI.
Having delivered double digit sales growth over the past few years, Vertu continues to lead its class with a portfolio of high end mobile phones, increasingly led by its smartphones and tailored services, offering unique access, experiences and opportunities to a discerning and growing customer base.
"This is a logical next step in the evolution of Vertu as the world leader in luxury mobile products," said Perry Oosting, President of Vertu. "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."
Striking the perfect balance between an unparalleled art of craftsmanship and modern technology, Vertu offers an unrivalled range of category leading mobile phones as functional as they are aesthetically desirable.
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.
Vertu is headquartered in Church Crookham, UK and employs approximately 1,000 people worldwide.
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.
Note to editors: Vertu images are available at http://media.vertu.com/
Nokia is a global leader in mobile communications whose products have become an integral part of the lives of people around the world. Every day, more than 1.3 billion people use their Nokia to capture and share experiences, access information, find their way or simply to speak to one another. Nokia's technological and design innovations have made its brand one of the most recognized in the world. For more information, visit http://www.nokia.com/about-nokia
Vertu is the pioneer and leading manufacturer of luxury mobile phones. Created to complement the discerning customer's lifestyle, Vertu offers tailored, luxury services in combination with the finest in design, engineering and manufacture. Vertu uses innovations in manufacturing and mobile phone technology combined with traditional craftsmanship, assembling each phone at the company's headquarters in England. Vertu is available in over 500 stores, including over 70 Vertu boutiques, in 66 countries worldwide. More information can be found on www.vertu.com.
Forward Looking Statements
It should be noted that certain statements herein that are not historical facts are forward-looking statements, including, without limitation, those regarding: A) the expected plans and benefits of our partnership with Microsoft to bring together complementary assets and expertise to form a global mobile ecosystem for smartphones; B) the timing and expected benefits of our new strategies, including expected operational and financial benefits and targets as well as changes in leadership and operational structure; C) the timing of the deliveries of our products and services; D) our ability to innovate, develop, execute and commercialize new technologies, products and services; E) expectations regarding market developments and structural changes; F) expectations and targets regarding our industry volumes, market share, prices, net sales and margins of our products and services; G) expectations and targets regarding our operational priorities and results of operations; H) expectations and targets regarding collaboration and partnering arrangements; I) the outcome of pending and threatened litigation; J) expectations regarding the successful completion of restructurings, investments, acquisitions and divestments on a timely basis and our ability to achieve the financial and operational targets set in connection with any such restructurings, investments, acquisitions and divestments; and K) statements preceded by "believe," "expect," "anticipate," "foresee," "target," "estimate," "designed," "aim", "plans," "intends," "will" or similar expressions. 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Factors that could cause these differences include, but are not limited to: 1) our ability to effectively and timely implement planned changes to our operational structure, including the planned restructuring measures, and to successfully complete the planned investments, acquisitions and divestments in order to improve our operating model and achieve targeted efficiencies and reductions in operating expenses; 2) our success in the smartphone market, including our ability to introduce and bring to market quantities of attractive, competitively priced Nokia products with Windows Phone that are positively differentiated from our competitors' products, both outside and within the Windows Phone ecosystem; 3) our ability to make Nokia products with Windows Phone a competitive choice for consumers, and together with Microsoft, our success in encouraging and supporting a competitive and profitable global ecosystem for Windows Phone smartphones that achieves sufficient scale, value and attractiveness to all market participants; 4) the difficulties we experience in having a competitive offering of Symbian devices and maintaining the economic viability of the Symbian smartphone platform during the transition to Windows Phone as our primary smartphone platform; 5) our ability to realize a return on our investment in next generation devices, platforms and user experiences; 6) our ability to produce attractive and competitive feature phones, including devices with more smartphone-like features, in a timely and cost efficient manner with differentiated hardware, software, localized services and applications; 7) the intensity of competition in the various markets where we do business and our ability to maintain or improve our market position or respond successfully to changes in the competitive environment; 8) our ability to retain, motivate, develop and recruit appropriately skilled employees; 9) the success of our Location & Commerce strategy, including our ability to maintain current sources of revenue, provide support for our Devices & Services business and create new sources of revenue from our location-based services and commerce assets; 10) our success in collaboration and partnering arrangements with third parties, including Microsoft; 11) our ability to increase our speed of innovation, product development and execution to bring new innovative and competitive mobile products and location-based or other services to the market in a timely manner; 12) our dependence on the development of the mobile and communications industry, including location-based and other services industries, in numerous diverse markets, as well as on general economic conditions globally and regionally; 13) our ability to protect numerous patented standardized or proprietary technologies from third-party infringement or actions to invalidate the intellectual property rights of these technologies; 14) our ability to maintain and leverage our traditional strengths in the mobile product market if we are unable to retain the loyalty of our mobile operator and distributor customers and consumers as a result of the implementation of our strategies or other factors; 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22) exchange rate fluctuations, including, in particular, fluctuations between the euro, which is our reporting currency, and the US dollar, the Japanese yen and the Chinese yuan, as well as certain other currencies; 23) our ability to protect the technologies, which we or others develop or that we license, from claims that we have infringed third parties' intellectual property rights, as well as our unrestricted use on commercially acceptable terms of certain technologies in our products and services; 24) the impact of economic, political, regulatory or other developments on our sales, manufacturing facilities and assets located in emerging market countries; 25) the impact of changes in government policies, trade policies, laws or regulations where our assets are located and where we do business; 26) the potential complex tax issues and obligations we may incur to pay additional taxes in the various jurisdictions in which we do business; 27) any disruption to information technology systems and networks that our operations rely on; 28) unfavorable outcome of litigations; 29) allegations of possible health risks from electromagnetic fields generated by base stations and mobile products and lawsuits related to them, regardless of merit; 30) Nokia Siemens Networks ability to implement its new strategy and restructuring plan effectively and in a timely manner to improve its overall competitiveness and profitability; 31) Nokia Siemens Networks' success in the telecommunications infrastructure services market and Nokia Siemens Networks' ability to effectively and profitably adapt its business and operations in a timely manner to the increasingly diverse service needs of its customers; 32) Nokia Siemens Networks' ability to maintain or improve its market position or respond successfully to changes in the competitive environment; 33) Nokia Siemens Networks' liquidity and its ability to meet its working capital requirements; 34) Nokia Siemens Networks' ability to timely introduce new competitive products, services, upgrades and technologies; 35) Nokia Siemens Networks' ability to execute successfully its strategy for the acquired Motorola Solutions wireless network infrastructure assets; 36) developments under large, multi-year contracts or in relation to major customers in the networks infrastructure and related services business; 37) the management of our customer financing exposure, particularly in the networks infrastructure and related services business; 38) whether ongoing or any additional governmental investigations into alleged violations of law by some former employees of Siemens may involve and affect the carrier-related assets and employees transferred by Siemens to Nokia Siemens Networks; and 39) any impairment of Nokia Siemens Networks customer relationships resulting from ongoing or any additional governmental investigations involving the Siemens carrier-related operations transferred to Nokia Siemens Networks, as well as the risk factors specified on pages 13-47 of Nokia's annual report on Form 20-F for the year ended December 31, 2011 under Item 3D. "Risk Factors." Other unknown or unpredictable factors or underlying assumptions subsequently proving to be incorrect could cause actual results to differ materially from those in the forward-looking statements. Nokia does not undertake any obligation to publicly update or revise forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise, except to the extent legally required.