Nokia plans to sell its digital health unit to Éric Carreel, co-founder and former chairman of Withings -- the company Nokia bought just two years ago to form the basis of its health business.
Nokia announced a review of strategic options for its digital health unit in February this year, and said the planned sale is part of its strategy to focus on business-to-business offerings and licensing. The Finnish company said the deal is expected to close late in the second quarter of 2018.
Nokia's digital health business (part of Nokia Technologies) makes products such as hybrid smart watches, scales and digital health devices to sell to consumers and businesses.
Nokia's May 2016 acquisition of French health-monitoring technology company Withings for €170m ($192m) formed the basis of the company's digital health business. The idea was to merge the Withings workforce with employees from Nokia Technologies' preventive health and patient care teams.
Back then, Nokia saw digital health as an area of potentially big growth, noting that healthcare was expected to become one of the key industry segments in the Internet of Things, with predictions of compound annual growth of 37 percent between 2015 and 2020.
However, the health business is still only a very small part of Nokia's overall business. According to Nokia's first quarter 2018 results, only €16 million of Nokia Technologies' €365m net sales came from health; Nokia's total net sales were €4.9 billion.
Once a mobile phone giant, Nokia now largely concentrates on its networking business, although Nokia-branded phones are now available via a licensing deal with HMD Global.
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