Nokia: Over 99 percent of votes in favour of selling devices unit to Microsoft

Nokia: Over 99 percent of votes in favour of selling devices unit to Microsoft

Summary: Pending regulatory clearance, Nokia's devices business should be Microsoft's by the first quarter of 2014.


A final tally from yesterday's historic shareholder vote to approve the €5.4bn ($7.4bn) sale of Nokia's devices business to Microsoft showed overwhelming support for the deal, expected to close in the first quarter of 2014.

The final count showed that more than 99 percent of votes cast were in favour of the deal, Nokia said, following preliminary figures it released yesterday from shareholders who voted in advance. Those proxy votes were 90 percent in favour of the sale, Nokia said.

At yesterday's extraordinary general meeting in Helsinki, Nokia said that around 90 percent of shareholders who voted by proxy had voted in favour of the Microsoft buyout.

"This is a significant step forward for Nokia. We are delighted that shareholders have given us overwhelmingly strong support to proceed with this transformative agreement," Nokia's chairman and interim CEO Risto Siilasmaa said in a statement.

"Today's vote brings us closer to completing a transaction which will mark the beginning of the next chapter in Nokia's near 150-year history, offering the potential of greater value for shareholders."

Nokia agreed in September to sell its devices and services business to Microsoft in a deal that included a 10-year licensing agreement covering around 30,000 Nokia patents

All of the 4,700 Nokia's Finnish employees that work in devices and services will be transferred to Microsoft, and the country will become a new centre of mobility R&D for the company.

Microsoft will retain rights to use the Nokia brand on its feature phones for the next 10 years. Nokia will be able to reenter the mobile handset market again in future should it wish to, but not for a few years: under the deal, it agreed not to launch mobile devices until the end of of 2015.

Once its devices and services unit has been sold to Microsoft, Nokia will continue to operate as a seperate company with three main focuses. Its core businesses post-acquisition will be NSN (Nokia Solutions and Networks), Here mapping and location services, and Advanced Technologies, which spans R&D and a patents business it plans to derive more licensing revenues from.

Further reading

Topics: Mobility, Hardware, Microsoft, Nokia

Liam Tung

About Liam Tung

Liam Tung is an Australian business technology journalist living a few too many Swedish miles north of Stockholm for his liking. He gained a bachelors degree in economics and arts (cultural studies) at Sydney's Macquarie University, but hacked (without Norse or malicious code for that matter) his way into a career as an enterprise tech, security and telecommunications journalist with ZDNet Australia. These days Liam is a full time freelance technology journalist who writes for several publications.

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  • In an era where billions are made from mobile devices

    Nokia seems to be ready to get rid for good and fast of their mobile division.
    While investor are always looking for fast and easy money, I wonder what to expect from a severely downsized company with shaky business. NSN last quarter results were nice, but far from something to rave about, also the pressure on network business is not getting any better.
    5.5B € it's a lot of money, but there were quarters before when NSN alone lost $1B.
    Patent trolling sometimes seems to be a profitable business but I wonder for how long.
  • Who get stuck

    with paying back the loans made to buy spectrum for WCDMA?
    Tony Burzio
  • Now play the funeral dirge for Nokia

    "Di-di-di-deee, di-di-di-dee, di-di-dee, dee-deeeeee..."
  • Only takes one to sue

    And I have this persistent suspicion that Elop deliberately drove down the value of Nokia's mobile device division so MS could buy it. Note that Elop's planning to return to MS to head this unit as soon as the sale is completed.
    John L. Ries
    • I never took you for a

      a conspiracy theorist, John.

      You do know what you just proposed is illegal, right? Not even MS is good enough to get away with something like that, but I figured you would have known that.
      • MS has done illegal things before.

        Similarly, MS has failed to get away with them too. So you are failing to make a point here.
    • Even though you describe your assertion as a "persistent suspicion",

      it's still a very stupid one.
    • Proof would be hard to come by but...

      ...Elop's behavior could hardly have been *MORE* effective at destroying shareholder value. The "burning bridge" memo instantly destroyed Nokia's Symbian/S60 market and this was long before the first Lumia phones could backfill for those lost smartphone profits. Then the cancellation of "Plan B" (Maemo/MeeGo) ensured that Nokia had only one direction to go: into the arms of Microsoft.

      I could have run Nokia far better than did Elop and you probably could have too!

      But as I said, there's probably very little objective proof of deliberate collusion.
      • So much "Monday morning quarterbacking", by so many people who have no idea

        at all about what occurred at Nokia nor at Microsoft.

        The best managers in the world, are those looking in from the outside, and they get even better when they have absolutely no idea about what was going on inside or outside the company.
        • I'm sorry, but I *WORKED* at Nokia during part of the time I'm discussing..

          ...and I have followed it very closely ever since. So please don't suggest that I "have no idea at all about what occurred at Nokia".