Nokia has informed the world this evening that it now expects its behemoth deal with Microsoft to close in April of this year, as opposed to the first calendar quarter, a timeframe that was reiterated earlier this year.
The deal, worth $7.2 billion, has wound through most of the regulatory bodies of the world that an agreement of its scale must. Microsoft published a blog post on the current situation, claiming to be “nearing the final stages of our global regulatory approval process.” Close, no cigar, and so forth.
What is causing the delay? Here’s Nokia: “[T]he transaction is pending approvals from certain antitrust authorities in Asia which are still conducting their reviews.”
The companies failed to reach the mark in time. This will cause analysts to revamp their models, Microsoft to wait to absorb the division, and force Stephen Elop to wait before assuming his post atop Microsoft’s now larger hardware division. Also, Nokia’s big payday is now a non-first quarter affair.
A blow for both companies, given that slipping into a new quarter wasn’t in their planning, but here they are. Both firms are still saying publicly that the deal will close.
My theory that the lingering tax issue regarding Nokia’s failure to secure and appeal in India, which has frozen a factory that is supposed to be part of the asset transfer was shot down by Nokia:
Nokia reiterates that ongoing tax proceedings in India have no bearing on the timing of the closing or the material deal terms of the anticipated transaction between Nokia and Microsoft.
Given that, we should see this beast locked down inside the next 30 days.