Nokia: It's Really Happening

Even though it was never going to be kicked out by the shareholders, there is something quite shocking about what has happened today in Espoo, Finland.

At an Extraordinary General Meeting, the shareholders of Nokia Corp. (NYSE: NOK) approved the sale of "substantially all of Nokia's Devices & Services business" to Microsoft Corp. (Nasdaq: MSFT). More than 99 percent of the votes cast at the meeting were in favor of the €5.44 billion ($7.36 billion) deal. (See: Nokia Sells Devices Business to Microsoft .)

Unless there are any regulatory issues, by the end of March, Nokia will no longer be making mobile phones. It will primarily be a mobile network infrastructure and managed services provider. Nokia Solutions and Networks (NSN) will generate the majority of the company's revenue. The other parts of the business will be HERE (which deals in location-based services) and Advanced Technologies (which looks to use Nokia's patent portfolio).

We have already covered the ins and outs of this deal, and we'll have to wait and see what Microsoft actually does with the device business. (See: The Nokia/Microsoft Conspiracy Theory.)

Still, something just does not seem right. It just doesn't seem right at all.

— Ray Le Maistre, Editor-in-Chief, Light Reading

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RitchBlasi 11/19/2013 | 2:55:51 PM
Nokia No More.... I agree Ray.  Going from first to worst and now to none...as far as mobile devices are concerned.  Let's add to that that (I always wanted to do that) they are selling it to a company that has failed multiple times itself at being a mobile player let alone a device manufacturer.  And more, if you make Elop your new CEO, doesn't that add insult to injury?  Did that come out right????

Hey, when I worked at AT&T Wireless I remember introducing some Nokia gems; the N-Gage gaming device, its first clamshell phone with a fabric cover (it put the U in ugly) and the oft mentioned and never accepted NFC device.  Fun times, fun times.
DOShea 11/19/2013 | 4:02:27 PM
Shareholders What's the feeling here--that the shareholders didn't understand what they were voting on, or that they have been completely scammed by corporate leadership?
jhodgesk1s 11/19/2013 | 4:13:26 PM
More Outs than Ins Ray, if it's any comfort, a lot of us feel this way. I don't think anyone could have predicted in 2008 that in only 5 years (or less), Nokia and Moto would be both in trouble and sold to Microsoft and Google respectively for approx $20B. The next five years should provide some level of finality and closure.
RitchBlasi 11/19/2013 | 4:56:37 PM
Shareholders Could be shareholders were afraid of losing everything and figured MS had deep pockets and they could salvage some coin. You have a few financial analyst saying this is good for both companies...you know how it goes Dan.
R Clark 11/19/2013 | 9:11:38 PM
Quitting while they're ahead I commend Nokia for getting out with something for their shareholders.  After ignoring  the iPhone, missing the Android opportunity and nailing their fate to Windows they didn't have much choice. Better than going down the BlackBerry path to oblivion. 

The Elop deal seems pretty scandalous though, even by the generous standards of CEO compensation.

MarkC73 11/20/2013 | 2:33:52 AM
Re: Quitting while they're ahead I agree, and I'm not a fan of MS either, but what choice do the Nokia shareholders really have.  I think the stragegy to put everything into one last try was a good strategy but maybe it was the wrong plan but either way it didn't pan out.  But whether it was intentional or not, seeing how the deal went down, its hard not to cry foul.  Setup for sale or using connections to forge a softer fall?  I doubt we'll ever really know.  My guess, a bit of both, hedging both and Mr Elop keeps on getting paid (and well).
MarkC73 11/20/2013 | 2:36:12 AM
Re: Shareholders @Ritch


I think the saying goes...

  "... if you can't beat em ...

             get paid ..."
Kruz 11/20/2013 | 5:21:54 AM
Re: Shareholders Nokia could have chosen another alternative few years ago, but today this is the best they can get out with. It is true Elop guided the company into that direction by tying it to Microsoft with no other choice; it could have easily adopted Microsoft along with Android, but then again, it could have been where HTC is now. Shareholders are happy and it's been a while where they only had to deal with negative news.
[email protected] 11/20/2013 | 8:13:48 AM
The shock factor On a financial level, you could say this is the best deal that Nokia shareholders would have got, given the circumstances, so it can be viewed as "a good deal" that makes Nokia shareholders "happy".

BUt, from my personal perspective, there's something not quite right. Whereas RIM/BlackBerry just looks like a classic lesson in poor management, the Nokia situation feels different. There is no doubt that the company failed to react quickly enough to the smartphone boom, but the decisoins made since then... well...

It'll make for an interesting case study.

As will what happens next, no doubt - and I mean, what happens next with Nokia's handset division at MSFT and what happens next for what is left of Nokia. Now the onus is on NSN to bring home the bacon.
RitchBlasi 11/20/2013 | 9:56:48 AM
Re: Shareholders Just got up and checked e-mail - LOL.  Great start to the morning.
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