“With its strong brand, undisputed category leadership and attractive growth outlook, Vertu fits well with EQT VI’s investment strategy,” said Jan Ståhlberg, Partner at EQT Partners. “EQT VI is excited about the opportunity to develop Vertu as a standalone company and plans to drive the development of the luxury mobile phone category through significant investments in retail expansion, marketing and product development,” the investment advisor to EQT VI added.
Vertu President Perry Oosting said:
“This is a logical next step in the evolution of Vertu as the world leader in luxury mobile products.”
“Since Vertu began in 1998, our business has grown every year, due to the efforts of our talented workforce and the unique products and services we offer to our customers. We believe that EQT VI will position Vertu to continue to grow and lead in our marketplace,” he added.
Vertu sells luxury phones – often with exotic materials like gold and precious gems – in the high-end price range.
No price for the deal to acquire Vertu has been mentioned by Nokia and EQT VI.
The Finnish firm will keep a 10% stake in the 1998-founded company and described the decision as ”the best option for the next step in Vertu’s journey."
News of the deal comes as the company announced restructuring plans that will see it shed 10,000 jobs by the end of 2013, while it also revealed that it will acquire assets from mobile imaging firm Scalado.
Nokia created Vertu to design and sell high-end, luxury mobile devices and accessories.
Many of the devices are encrusted with jewels and built from precious metals, stones and other stamps of luxury.
The product line stretches from an entry-level US$5,100 (€4,035) phone to the top of the range US$83,000 (€65,680) Signature Diamond.
Vertu also produces bespoke devices, and its most expensive handset — which included three carats of diamonds and rubies – sold for US$350,000 (€276,964).
Its regular devices are often co-branded with high-end brands, including Ferrari, in partnerships that are aimed at appealing to high-end, wealthy consumers.
Source: Social Barrel