Microsoft completes Nokia phone deal

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iol pic busrep TOR906_NOKIA-MICROSOFT_0425_11 REUTERS A Nokia mobile phone lies on a tablet computer showing logos of Microsoft, in this illustration file picture taken in Frankfurt. Picture: Kai Pfaffenbach/Files


Helsinki/Los Angeles -

Finnish telecommunications group Nokia said Friday that it had completed the sale of “substantially all” of its handset business to the US software giant Microsoft.

The 5.44-billion-euro (7.2-billion-dollar) deal was unveiled in September, but Nokia said the price tag could be slightly higher based on final adjustments. It consists of 3.79 billion euros for Nokia's devices and services divisions and 1.65 billion euros for its patents.

“Today we welcome the Nokia Devices and Services business to our family. The mobile capabilities and assets they bring will advance our transformation,” said Microsoft chief executive officer Satya Nadella in a statement.

The completion of the deal comes eight months after the initial announcement. Since then, Nadella replaced Steve Ballmer as Microsoft chief executive.

Former Nokia president and chief executive officer Stephen Elop will serve as executive vice president of the Microsoft Devices Group, which includes Lumia smartphones and tablets, Nokia mobile phones, Xbox hardware and Surface.

Nokia and Microsoft cleared a major hurdle this month when China's Ministry of Commerce approved the transaction. Nokia was the world's leading mobile phone maker until smartphones from Apple as well as companies using Google's Android operating system overtook it.

With the completion of the sale, Nokia will consist of the network infrastructure and services division NSN and the mapping services unit HERE. Nokia is due Tuesday to present first-quarter results. Nokia said its plants in Chennai in India and Masan in South Korea would not transfer to Microsoft.

The Chennai plant is subject to an asset freeze by Indian tax authorities over an ongoing tax dispute. The plant was to make mobile devices for Microsoft. The Masan plant has about 200 employees, and Nokia planned to close it. Employees in Chennai and Masan were to be offered support if they wished to look for work outside Nokia, the group said. - Sapa-dpa

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