Don't mention the B-word to Nokia

The misery continues for Nokia as it attempts to extricate itself from the PR nightmare that has surrounded the closure of its Germany cell phone manufacturing plant in Bochum. The latest (and final, according to Nokia) chapter involves the Finnish firm in launching an 'Entrepreneur Centre' in Bochum that will fund an advertising campaign to promote the area and find a suitable buyer or investor for the ex-Nokia factory. This move will see Nokia contributing €20 million plus the net proceeds from the sale of Nokia's production facility and property in Bochum. To sweeten this pill, the North Rhine-Westphalia (NRW) government will also put €20 million into the plan. Nokia has already agreed to a €200 million package for the 2,300 workers it axed from the handset manufacturing plant.

What remains unclear is the situation regarding the €60 million subsidy that Nokia received in the late 1990s to fund the new Bochum facility. In the past, the NRW had demanded that Nokia repay this amount in full--which Nokia refused to do. Both organisations now consider the issue closed without detailing if any money has changed hands.

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