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Elop rejects 'baseless' Nokia sale rumours

Nokia is not for sale, chief executive Stephen Elop reiterated on Thursday at the Open Mobile Summit in London.Asked to respond to rumours that either Samsung, Apple or Microsoft was in talks to buy the embattled Finnish handset maker, Elop responded: "The simplest answer is this.
Written by David Meyer, Contributor

Nokia is not for sale, chief executive Stephen Elop reiterated on Thursday at the Open Mobile Summit in London.

Asked to respond to rumours that either Samsung, Apple or Microsoft was in talks to buy the embattled Finnish handset maker, Elop responded: "The simplest answer is this. All of those rumours are baseless."

Elop was subsequently pressed on the matter, and asked to confirm that Nokia is definitely not for sale. "Right," he responded.

Nokia recently saw its share price fall after it admitted to investors that it was unlikely to be profitable this quarter, and cancelled its outlook for the year. The ratings agency Fitch cut Nokia's credit rating to just above junk on Tuesday, and on Thursday it emerged that CTO Rich Green was leaving, to be replaced by Nokia Research Centre chief Henry Tirri.

Nomura analyst Richard Windsor said at the event on Thursday that the rumours of the takeover were less than sensible.

"Apple would be daft," Windsor said. "Samsung would be daft, simply because they've always said they can kill Nokia organically. The one that might make some sense is for Microsoft to take out the handset business and sell the rest of it. But why would they?"

However, Windsor noted that "everything has a price", and the decision to agree to a sale or not may ultimately be up to the shareholders, not Elop.

Windsor said some of his Nokia-share-holding clients may consider agreeing to a takeover if the company's share price were to halve again. "If someone was to come in and bid for it [then], it would probably go through," he said. "But what would [the buyer] be taking on?"

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