EQT VI to acquire the leading luxury phone manufacturer Vertu from Nokia

  • EQT VI plans to acquire 90% of Vertu, the global leader in luxury mobile phones, from Nokia
  • Nokia retains a minority shareholding of 10%
  • EQT VI will continue to develop Vertu through accelerated retail expansion as well as significant investments in marketing and product development

EQT VI has agreed to acquire Vertu Corporation (“Vertu” or the “Company”), the global leader in luxury mobile phones, from Nokia. Founded by Nokia in 1998, Vertu is the pioneer and global leader in luxury mobile phones. In addition to a range of luxury phones handcrafted in Church Crookham, UK, Vertu offers a portfolio of services and accessories, including a 24/7 concierge service. The Company has around 1,000 employees and its products are sold globally in over 50 countries through own retail and trade partners’ stores. Vertu has grown strongly throughout its history, driven by its unique offering and a rapid growth of high net worth individuals globally. In 2011, Vertu generated sales of EUR 266 million.

“With its strong brand, undisputed category leadership and attractive growth outlook, Vertu fits well with EQT VI’s investment strategy. EQT VI is excited about the opportunity to develop Vertu as a standalone company and drive the development of the luxury mobile phone category through significant investments in retail expansion, marketing and product development”, comments Jan Ståhlberg, Partner at EQT Partners, Investment Advisor to EQT VI.

“In the sale process of Vertu, EQT VI stood out for its reliability and speed of execution in the planned transaction”, said Timo Ihamuotila, Chief Financial Officer of Nokia. “We are confident that EQT VI, with its industrial approach, will be a great owner and partner to support Vertu’s future development.”

“This is a logical next step in the evolution of Vertu as the world leader in luxury mobile products”, said Perry Oosting, President of Vertu. “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.”

The transaction, the terms of which are confidential, is expected to close during the second half of 2012, subject to customary regulatory approvals and closing conditions.

Contacts:
EQT VI Spokesperson Jan Ståhlberg, Partner at EQT Partners
+46 8 506 55 307
Jussi Nyrölä, Director at EQT Partners
+358 9 6962 4712
Johan Hähnel, Communications & PR
+46 8 506 55 334

About EQT
EQT
is the leading private equity group in Northern Europe with close to EUR 18 billion in raised capital and multiple investment strategies. Together with a superior network of independent Industrial Advisors, EQT implements its investment strategy by acquiring or financing good medium-sized to large companies in Northern and Eastern Europe, Asia and the United States, supporting their development into leading companies. Development is achieved by an industrial strategy with focus on growth. Since inception, EQT has invested more than EUR 11 billion in around 100 companies and exited close to 50. EQT-owned companies have more than 550,000 employees.

EQT Partners, acting as Investment Advisor to the managers of each EQT fund, has around 120 investment professionals with an extensive industrial and financial competence. EQT Partners and its affiliates have offices in Copenhagen, Frankfurt, Helsinki, Hong Kong, Oslo, London, Munich, New York, Shanghai, Singapore, Stockholm, Warsaw and Zurich.

More information can be found on www.eqt.se

About Vertu
Vertu
is the pioneer and leading manufacturer of luxury mobile phones. Created to complement the discerning customer’s lifestyle, Vertu offers tailored, luxury services in combination with the finest in design, engineering and manufacture. Vertu uses innovations in manufacturing and mobile phone technology combined with traditional craftsmanship, assembling each phone at the company’s headquarters in England. Vertu is available in over 500 stores, including over 70 Vertu boutiques, in 66 countries worldwide.

More information can be found on www.vertu.com