VERTU'S CEO SAYS IT MAKES SENSE FOR NOKIA TO SELL THE LUXURY BRAND
- Vertu's CEO says it makes sense for Nokia to sell the luxury mobile phone maker because 'we were always a very independent duck in the pond', The Telegraph reports.
Perry Oosting, Vertu's chief executive, confirmed that the "idea to sell Vertu had always been around in Nokia", and argued that the sale was a "logical move".
Vertu's diamond encrusted handsets can sell for up to £200,000, while Nokia bonds have recently been downgraded to junk status. The sale, for a rumored $200million, to private equity firm EQT VI is not expected to lead to any immediate changes in the company's strategy.
Mr Oosting said, "with independent sales, software, manufacturing and marketing, we were such an independent duck in the pond for Nokia. The only connection was the back end functions and systems, so this final announcement was a logical move, even if it came at the end of a very intense process."
Vertu, which is based in Church Crookham, Hampshire, has benefited from growth in developing Asian markets. Its most recent launch is a device made in collaboration with the charity Smile Train, where the firm will make a €1million contribution to help children born with cleft palates in the developing world.
Mr Oosting claimed that "When in this sale process we presented our strategic plan, there was belief in the existing business and in the plan."
He said that "There will be no major change in what the definition of what Vertu the brand is." He added, however, that "We will choose technology that serves what we want to do." Hinting that Vertu could move from Nokia Symbian operating platform to the Windows Phone operating system that Nokia is now using, he said, "We've been very successful on one operating platform. That doesn't mean we stick with that."
Mr Oosting also said that Vertu's strength came from its unique position as the only luxury mobile phone manufacturer in its own right. "It's important to have a point of view and a differentiation," he claimed. "I make no comments to Nokia but the strength to Vertu has been doing something unique in terms of craftsmanship as well as in terms of technology."
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