Nokia has confirmed that the sale of its devices and services division to Microsoft for $7.2 billion will be completed this Friday, the 25th of April. The deal was first announced at the beginning of September last year has taken nearly eight months to clear all of the regulatory requirements including getting the nod from Nokia’s shareholders, which took all of 79 days in the end.
The deal sees Microsoft gain the the entire range of Nokia’s phone portfolio including the Lumia smartphones, already running Microsoft’s Windows Phone OS, as well as the Nokia X Android phones, Nokia’s feature phone and Asha lines. Microsoft also gets a 10-year license to Nokia’s extensive patent library with a reciprocal licencing deal for Nokia covering mapping patents from Microsoft. It will also mean that more than 32 000 Nokia employees will have a new boss come Friday morning with Nokia’s outgoing boss Stephen Elop returning to his former employer, Microsoft, as Executive Vice President of the new Microsoft Devices Group.
It’s understood that the Nokia brand will continue to be used for the Asha and feature phone line-up, while the Lumia line-up will be relaunched as ‘Microsoft Lumia’.
While the purchase price will remain the same as originally agreed, Nokia did say that a few changes had been made to the original agreement which had come up in the time since the original offer. Nokia’s social media and websites will be managed by Microsoft, at least for the first year after the deal while Nokia’s Korean manufacturing facility, which was originally set to become part of Microsoft has been left out of the deal to remain a part of Nokia instead.
In closing the acquisition deal the previously software focused Microsoft will take its first steps as a serious hardware manufacturer. While the Xbox and the Surface tablets have proven that the company is capable of making hardware that is both appealing and functional it will be interesting to see how Nokia’s distinctly European design team deals with their new American overlords over the next few months.