Nokia looks to sell luxury Vertu mobile phone brand

Nokia has been operating Vertu since 1998, which is a long time. I always thought that the company couldn't have too many people lining up to purchase mobile phones that lack any smart features selling for upwards of $314,000. My assumption of Vertu not selling well was wrong; it has been outperforming Nokia's other segments.

Vertu is estimated to be generating in the area of $268 million to $402 million yearly. Nokia has hired Goldman Sachs to oversee the sale of the company with the FT reporting that a source close to the deal says talks are still in the early stages. Interest has reportedly been expressed from private equity firms in Vertu. Nokia is hoping that a luxury goods company might buy the Vertu brand according to the source close to the deal.

Vertu is sold in over 60 countries with the biggest markets for the brand in the Middle East, Russia, and Asia. Since the Vertu brand lacks smartphones, the big draw is the devices that are made from precious metals and often have gemstones embedded. The phones also have a concierge service that the user can press a button for and the service will make reservations of all sorts. Vertu has been rumored to be working on a smartphone.

[via FT]