SAN FRANCISCO — Microsoft announced the official purchase of Nokia's handset business, a €5.44 billion (US$7.5 billion) deal first announced in September 2013. Rumors also place Rajeev Suri as Nokia’s next CEO.
“The acquisition of substantially all of the Nokia Devices and Services business by Microsoft has reached completion, following approval by Nokia shareholders and regulatory authorities,” Nokia EVP Stephen Elop said in an open letter.
Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella (left) and Executive Vice President of Nokia Devices & Services Group Stephen Elop share a moment together.
A number of senior executives -- including Elop, Jo Harlow, Juha Putkiranta, Timo Toikkanen, and Chris Weber -- are expected to transfer from Nokia to Microsoft. The deal will involve the transfer of 25,000 people to Microsoft, including 4,700 people in Finland and 18,300 employees directly involved in manufacturing, assembly, and packaging of products. As announced previously, Microsoft will not acquire the factory in Masan, South Korea; and the factory in Chennai, India, will stay with Nokia due to the tax liens on Nokia’s assets in India.
While Nokia officials said talk of the new CEO was speculation, Reuters reported that 46-year-old Suri has “been widely considered the leading candidate” following his part in helping the network division, Nokia Solutions and Networks, return to profitability.
Microsoft will also pay €1.65 billion ($2.2 billion) to license many of Nokia's patents on terms varying between four and ten years. Microsoft is going to make available to Nokia up to €1.5 billion ($2 billion) in funding options.
Nokia and Microsoft were not available for comment.
— Jessica Lipsky, Associate Editor, EE Times