back to article Nokia, private equity chat about €200m bling phone firm sale

Nokia's plan to sell off Vertu, its subsidiary that makes handsets for folk with so much money they don't even need sense, emerged back in December 2011. Now it looks like the sale may go ahead. Talking to the Finnish phone giant is, one mole claims, Permira, a Europe-based private equity company. The alleged asking price: €200 …

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Anonymous Coward

Asset stripping

Selling profitable divisions for short term gain will hurt over the long term. Vertu is just one more victim of Windows Phone, and the doomed effort to keep that dream/nightmare alive.

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Vertu website

I was looking through the Vertu website and all I can say is wow those are some really ugly phones. I don't care if they're made from exotic materials or studded with rubies, IMO they're vulgar looking devices designed to appeal to vulgar rich people. Even assuming I was rich enough to be able to drop $4000+ on a phone I would still favour a regular phone over one of these.

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Windows

Goodbye Church Crookham...

Foxconn - ready yet?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Church_Crookham

That's where the things were made. Plus many more interesting bits (see link). Sleepy litlle village. Nonetheless, worth a visit......You never know what you'll find by trawling the nearby Basingstoke Canal....

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Mushroom

Re: Goodbye Church Crookham...

They are actually closer to Tweesledown Point-to-Point HQ than the Basingstoke Canal.

Nokia's building in Farnborough is closing shortly. The Surrey Linux Users Group meeting there in May is the last one at the site.

There is also the old Sun HQ lying empty on the other side of the M3.

Sad times.

Bomb. Targetted at Oracle and Microsoft. :)

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Anonymous Coward

Fantastic News

This is great news it really is. Elop has done an incredible job at Nokia and he's continuing to shed the dead skin that's been holding the company back.

With Windows Phone 8 around the corner I can only see one winner long term in the smartphone wars. Enjoy your time Samsung because Nokia are coming for you!

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Re: Fantastic News

Samsung makes Windows Phone devices too you know, e.g. Omnia 7. It's just they haven't lashed themselves to a burning deck while doing it.

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Go

Good, good

You are my very favorite troll on the whole site, not least because there are so many people who seem to miss what you're doing and thus get their Finnish panties in a wad. Normally I'm not in favor of trolling, but yours is just subtle enough that most people seem to miss it.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Good, good

And there I was thinking that El Reg was a discussion forum - and all the time it was just a who's-the-cleverest-clever-boy competition.

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Anonymous Coward

Clever Move?

Nokia posted impressive losses recently, selling off Vertu might plug some of that gap and give them time to get some WP7 phones shifted.

of course they wouldn't be in this situation if.........................

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Anonymous Coward

What does the existence of Vertu say about rich people?

I was just thinking... My first touch-screen based smart phone was the Sony-Ericsson P800, back in 2002, and I loved it! If the main mobile phone brand for filthy rich people introduces the first smart phone almost 10 years after everyone else gets one, what does that say about rich people?

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Anonymous Coward

Re: What does the existence of Vertu say about rich people?

Only that spending a lot of money (by our standards) on crap doesn't matter to them. The rich and powerful people aren't buying this for themselves, they're buying it as gifts for wives, second wives, third wives, girlfriends, mistresses, (or if the R&P is female and hetero, buying for husbands, boyfriends, gigolos etc). Accordingly they know nothing about mobiles at all, and don't really care, because the gift is in the giving, added to which they probably didn't select it, buy it, box it or write the card themselves.

If you were rich and powerful enough to employ a personal arse-wiper, why would you need a mobile? There's always flunkies around to pass on messages, you probably don't want to speak to anybody who wants to speak to you, and my guess is that (say) Rupey Murdoch doesn't spend much time playing Angry Birds, or sending texts to Wendy "Caught out by British MP's, pls put dinner in oven, will be L8 home". But he might well instruct a flunky to buy her a bling phone as one of many birthday presents (until she's traded in for a newer model). And talking of Murdoch being rich, and spending money on crap, he spent $675m on buying his daughter's TV production company, much to other shareholder's delight and amusement, so paying a few grand for an out of date, vulgarised Nokia would seem both in keeping yet inconsequential.

However, I'd have thought that Virtu (or however they spell it) has much potential in Russia, and in the emerging Indian and Chinese markets, where brash oligrachs, up and coming entrepreneurs, successful crims and the like need to be able to show that they've got so much cash the don't care where it goes.

Mind you, I reckon that Claire's Accessories should partner up with Samsung, they'd probably make something more tasteful.

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Gold badge

Yeah...

They actually start at about $5,000, but typical ones cost a lot more than that.. I've seen a couple listed for like $10,000-$20,000 *used*. Not my cup of tea.

One thing I can say, they aren't just taking a Nokia and gold-plating it. It's apparently pretty typical in the Vertu line for a phone to take like 1500 hours to assemble and about 500 hours to polish.

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