Those holding out a glimmer of hope that Nokia will hang on to Vertu should probably go ahead and give up. Nokia has been looking to offload its luxury phone unit since at least December, and Reuters confirms again this morning that Nokia is in talks with private equity group EQT to offload Vertu for around $250 million. EQT is not the first private equity firm to reportedly take interest in the Vertu line. Permira was rumored to be in talks with Nokia back in April, though the company apparently decided to not make an offer to Nokia.
The Vertu line has been responsible for some of the most expensive phones on the market, running around €200,000 a pop. Revenues for the Vertu line are estimated to bring in about €200 to €300 million annually, which amounts to about 100-150 sales per year at the €200,000 per phone level. Selling off the Vertu line could give Nokia some much-needed cash after the company’s stock was downgraded to junk status a few months ago.