Nokia shareholders approve Microsoft deal

Published by at

As expected, Nokia's shareholders today voted to approve the sale of the Devices & Services division to Microsoft for €5.4 billion. The Financial Times reports that of the shareholder taking part in the vote 99.7% voted in favour of the deal. The shareholder vote was not expected to be a stumbling block, but remains an important stage in the sale process. It will be followed by a variety of regulatory approvals, none of which are expected to raise any roadblocks. The deal is expected to be completed in the first quarter of next year.

Here's the Nokia press release announcing the news:

The Extraordinary General Meeting of Nokia Corporation held on November 19, 2013 ("EGM") decided to confirm and approve the sale of substantially all of Nokia's Devices & Services business to Microsoft in line with the proposal and recommendation of the Nokia Board of Directors. More than 99 % of the votes cast at the EGM were in favor of this proposal.

"This is a significant step forward for Nokia. We are delighted that shareholders have given us overwhelmingly strong support to proceed with this transformative agreement," said Nokia Board Chairman and interim CEO, Risto Siilasmaa. "Today's vote brings us closer to completing a transaction which will mark the beginning of the next chapter in Nokia's near 150-year history, offering the potential of greater value for shareholders," he said.

As a reminder here's how we first described the proposed transaction:

As a result of the transaction Microsoft will acquire "substantially all of Nokia's Devices & Services business". This includes the Mobile Phones (Series 40) and Smart Devices (Windows Phone) business units, Nokia's design team, operations including all Nokia Devices & Services production facilities, Devices & Services-related sales and marketing activities, and related support functions. Consequently, approximately 32,000 people are expected to transfer to Microsoft, including approximately 4,700 people in Finland.

As part of the transaction, Nokia will also grant Microsoft a 10 year non-exclusive license to its patents and Microsoft will grant Nokia reciprocal rights related to HERE services. Further, Microsoft will have an option to extend this mutual patent agreement to perpetuity. Of the transaction cost of €5.44 billion, €3.79 billion relates to the Devices & Services business, and €1.65 billion to the mutual patent agreement.

Microsoft will also become a strategic licensee of the HERE platform, paying Nokia for an initial four year license. The revnue stream for HERE will be equivalent to the internal revenue streams that Devices & Services currently transfer to the HERE and will be a key factor if maintaining the business viability of HERE.

Microsoft has also agreed to a 10 year license arrangement with Nokia to use the Nokia brand on current Mobile Phones products, but Nokia will continue to own and maintain the Nokia brand.  The Nokia brand will continue to be used on Series 30 and Series 40 products, but the indication are that Windows Phone products will switch to the Microsoft brand, although it seems likely the Lumia sub-brand will continue. 

Source / Credit: Financial Times