The financial terms of the deal were undisclosed, although Bloomberg reported a price of about €200 million ($250 million), citing two sources in the know.
The sale of Church Crookham, England-based Vertu came as Nokia announced a management shakeup and restructuring that will cost about 10,000 jobs by the end of next year. The restructuring, which follows a long period of poor performance and shrinking market share for Nokia, includes research and development cuts; the closure of plants in Germany, Finland and Canada; and cost-cutting in IT and marketing. Nokia also foreshadowed possible further divestments as part of a program of what it vaguely described as "reductions related to noncore assets."
Overall, Nokia said it expected new restructuring charges of about €1 billion by the end of 2013. These come on top of charges of about €900 million recognized as of the end of first quarter.
"We must re-shape our operating model and ensure that we create a structure that can support our competitive ambitions," said Nokia president and CEO Stephen Elop in a statement.
At the same time, Nokia also announced the acquisition of assets from venture-backed Swedish imaging company, Scalado AB, again without disclosing the price. The deal will allow Nokia to enhance the imaging on its Lumia range of smartphones, which is central to Nokia's growth strategy.
"This transaction would enable us to combine our leadership in camera devices with their expertise in imaging," said Nokia Smart Devices executive vice president Jo Harlow in a statement.
The main shareholders of Scalado are NorthCap Partners ApS, Industrifonden, TeknoSeed AB and the company's founders.
Unlike the bulk of Nokia's mass-market products, Vertu targets the super-rich. Although its phones are not the most technologically advanced, their jewel-encrusted cases and applications offering additional services -- including 24/7 concierge services -- have allowed it to grow throughout its history. It now sells in 66 countries. Vertu generated revenue of €266 million in 2011.
EQT partner Jan Ståhlberg said in a statement the firm would "drive the development of the luxury mobile phone category through significant investments in retail expansion, marketing and product development." EQT will buy Vertu through its EQT VI fund and develop Vertu as a standalone company.
In a separate statement Thursday, Nokia announced the appointment of Juha Putkiranta as executive vice president of operations, Timo Toikkanen as executive vice president of mobile phones, Chris Weber as executive vice president of sales and marketing, Tuula Rytila as senior vice president and chief marketing officer, and Susan Sheehan as senior vice president of communications.
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