Are you sitting down? Because what we’re about to tell you something doesn’t make any sense to us whatsoever. Nokia’s stock price is up over
7.5% 11% on the Helsinki Stock Exchange because there’s a rumor going around that Samsung is interested in buying the company. Think about that second. If you were to combine the world’s largest and second largest mobile phone companies around, you’d make a mobile handset vendor so powerful that they’d dominate roughly half the mobile phone industry.
Do we think this rumor is true? Absolutely not. If anyone is going to buy Nokia, it’ll probably be Microsoft, who today is struggling to get Windows Phone devices out onto the market and who in just a few short months will launch a new version of their desktop operating system that is focused on competing with Apple’s iPad. If Microsoft bought Nokia then the software company would open themselves up to some heated arguments from their current partners, but then again Apple has clearly demonstrated that owning both the platform and the hardware is the way to go if you want to make it big.
Now that Nokia’s market cap is barely $11 billion, it makes them a takeover target. To give you some perspective of how small that number is, Google paid $12.5 billion for Motorola last summer. The thousands upon thousands of patents that Nokia owns could be worth more if they were auctioned off separately, but it’s far too early to speculate if that would actually happen.
This isn’t the first time we’ve seen rumors that a company is interested in buying Nokia, but this is the first time that someone has suggested that said company is one of Nokia’s fiercest competitors. Again, we don’t think it’ll happen, but we just find it amazing that rumors can cause a stock price to move this much.
[Hat Tip to Aleksi Moisio]
Update: Nokia has no comment on the story and their share price was up 11% at a certain point during trading today.
Update: Swedish newspaper Dagens industri says Samsung is rumored to have offered 4 Euros per share. Multiply that by 3.74 billion Nokia shares and that’s 14.96 billion Euros or roughly $18.7 billion. That’s a 70% premium over Nokia’s current market cap.