Word has come through that Nokia has completed its sale of luxury phone brand Vertu to investment firm EQT VI. But TechCrunch has heard from sources that Anssi Vanjoki, the 20-year Nokia veteran who resigned back in 2010, will be named the new CEO of Vertu.
When former smartphone chief Vanjoki originally resigned, many were confused by the decision as he had remained a loyal and dedicated executive. But he later explained that “I didn’t become the CEO.” Clearly, this was in reference to Stephen Elop’s promotion to Nokia CEO after being a long-time executive at Microsoft.
Our sources also report that new Vertu phones will run Android, as opposed to Windows Phone 8. Nokia-owned Vertu phones have thus far run the now-dead Symbian OS, but with the rivalry between Mr. Vanjoki and Mr. Elop, and by extension Windows Phone 8, it makes sense that Vertu would hop on the Android gravy train… kind of.
In my personal opinion, Windows Phone 8 seems like a much more luxury OS than Android. On a surface level, at least. Then again, a lot of people are comfortable with Android, which makes it an easier sell.
We first heard about this acquisition back in June. The price of Vertu is still unconfirmed, but Nokia said in the initial release that it would maintain a 10 percent stake.
It was valued at an estimated €200 million (~$249 million).
Nokia has never disclosed the specific financials of Vertu’s business, but EQT, the buyer, claimed the 2011 sales were €266 million (~$334 million). In case you’re unfamiliar with the brand, Vertu is known for its ultra-luxury handsets made with materials like stainless steel, ceramics, carbon fiber, and often featuring sapphires and rubies.
Nokia stock has plummeted in the past few years to a fourteen year low.