Nokia looking to sell off headquarters, and lease them back

Nokia is turning the cost-cutting scrutiny on its real estate - one option under consideration is offloading its corporate HQ and then renting the facility.
Written by Liam Tung, Contributing Writer

Cash-strapped Nokia is looking to offload its corporate headquarters in Espoo, Finland - but it has no plans to leave the building. 

The company confirmed it is considering selling the facility near the Finnish capital of Helsinki with a view to then leasing it back.

"We said during our Q2 results in July that we're re-evaluating all non-core operations, including real estate. That said, we don’t have any plans to move our headquarters," Nokia said in an official statement sent to ZDNet.

The sale of its headquarters is just one real estate option Nokia is considering, Nokia's chief financial officer Timo Ihamuotila told Finnish newspaper Telsingin Sanomat.

Nokia's HQ in Espoo, Finland. Image: Nokia

The estimated value of the property, nearby the capital Helsinki, is around €200m to €300m, according to Finnish tabloid Ilta Sanomat.

Cash from the sale of the property would be small in comparison to its more aggressive plan to cut operating expenses by €3bn by the end of 2013, including through the closure of manufacturing at Nokia's Salo facility. 

Nokia has committed to a headcount reduction of 10,000 globally and is also thinning out R&D and manufacturing facilities in Europe and North America.

In August Nokia moved its Central and Eastern European headquarters from Vienna, Austria to Budapest, Hungary as part of a regional realignment associated with the cost-cutting strategy.   

Nokia last month took the wraps off its forthcoming Windows Phone 8 devices, the Lumia 920 and 820. The pair are the second wave of devices to bear the Lumia brand and run Microsoft's mobile operating system.

In an interview with All Things Digital, Nokia CEO Stephen Elop said he believed there was room for improvement with the launch of the first Lumia devices. "In getting the first Lumia devices out there, I would have liked to have done better," he told the publication. "There is no question."

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