Hong Kong-based firm buys Vertu from previous Swedish owners EQT
High-end British smartphone maker Vertu has been sold by its owners to a foreign investment firm for a reported £450m.
The company, best known for its smartphones which can retail for up to £14,500, is being sold by its Swedish owners EQT to Godin Holdings, a Hong Kong-based investment fund, which has acquired Vertu alongside several “international private investors”.
Exact terms of the deal were not disclosed, the Financial Times reported, and Vertu has yet to respond to a request for comment.
Vertu, which was bought by EQT from Nokia back in 2012 for more than €200m, employs around 450 workers in the UK at its factory in Church Crookham, Hampshire, as well as a similar amount in other countries around the globe.
These jobs are thought to be safeguarded in the new deal, as many of Vertu’s devices contain intricate hand-made components – one of the reasons for the company’s high prices.
However Massimiliano Pogliani will step down as CEO at the end of October 2015 after three years in the role.
“I have enjoyed my time with Vertu immensely and am proud of what has been achieved over the past three years,” Pogliani told TechWeekEurope. “Now, with the successful transition to a new investment partner complete, it is an appropriate time to pass on the baton of leadership to a new team. I look forward to reading of Vertu’s continued success over the coming years”
Founded in by Nokia in 1998, Vertu’s devices also feature luxury material options such as calf leather and crocodile skin, as well as connection to a 24/7 concierge service.
Its phones can only be purchased from 500 retailers, seven of which are currently in Hong Kong and 45 in neighbouring China, which will surely be seen as the next major target market for Vertu to move in to, as it looks to boost its customer figures in the region.
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