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Microsoft buys Nokia’s devices, licenses patents and maps

Magic bean sellers head for Redmond
Tue Sep 03 2013, 08:58
Nokia something big is coming

MOBILE WANNABE Microsoft has purchased the device and hardware part of partner business Nokia and licensed its patents.

The firm will lash out €5.4bn ($7.2bn, £4.6bn) on Nokia's business and gewgaws and will take on a number of executives, including Stephen Elop who left Microsoft only a few years ago.

Naturally both parties are very happy.

"It's a bold step into the future - a win-win for employees, shareholders and consumers of both companies. Bringing these great teams together will accelerate Microsoft's share and profits in phones, and strengthen the overall opportunities for both Microsoft and our partners across our entire family of devices and services," said outgoing Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer.

"In addition to their innovation and strength in phones at all price points, Nokia brings proven capability and talent in critical areas such as hardware design and engineering, supply chain and manufacturing management, and hardware sales, marketing and distribution."

The deal will have to be approved but Ballmer seems convinced it will get a green light.

"We are excited and honored to be bringing Nokia's incredible people, technologies and assets into our Microsoft family. Given our long partnership with Nokia and the many key Nokia leaders that are joining Microsoft, we anticipate a smooth transition and great execution," he added.

"With ongoing share growth and the synergies across marketing, branding and advertising, we expect this acquisition to be accretive to our adjusted earnings per share starting in FY15, and we see significant long-term revenue and profit opportunities for our shareholders."

Microsoft will acquire Nokia's hardware business, the Lumia phones, and its design teams and production facilities. Around 32,000 employees are expected to transfer to Microsoft business cards.

"Building on our successful partnership, we can now bring together the best of Microsoft's software engineering with the best of Nokia's product engineering, award-winning design, and global sales, marketing and manufacturing," said Nokia chief and potential Ballmer replacement Stephen Elop.

"With this combination of talented people, we have the opportunity to accelerate the current momentum and cutting-edge innovation of both our smart devices and mobile phone products."

Nokia keeps its patent portfolio and will license it to Microsoft on a 10-year basis. This can be extended in perpetuity.

With Steve Ballmer having announced his retirement, the promotion of Elop seems even more likely. µ


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