Nokia has dismissed speculation that tentative plans to sell off its Espoo headquarters is a sign of increasingly precarious finances, arguing that rather it is “common business sense” for the Finnish firm. Chatter of a potential sale of the Espoo head office was confirmed as under consideration earlier today, with Nokia said to be weighing whether it was more cost-effective to rent the building back from new owners. That’s not an unusual approach, a Nokia spokesperson tells SlashGear.
“As with most companies whose core business is not in owning real estate, it makes common business sense not to tie assets in real estate property but rather invest and focus in its core operations” Nokia’s Mark Squires told us today. “Divesting real estate is an entirely different thing compared to the location of the headquarters. As we have said many times before, we have no plans to move our headquarters.”
According to Finnish reports, Nokia’s head office in Finland is worth approximately €200-300m ($258-387m). Selling it off and then renting it back as a guaranteed tenant would free up a lump sum for Nokia to use immediately, as well as presumably liberate it from issues of maintenance moving forward.
“[Renting headquarters is] not unusual practice in Finland, as an example, Kone sold their headquarters in Keilaniemi in 2007 and leased it back, UPM sold their headquarters in 2006 and Stora Enso in 2008” Squires pointed out. It’s not known whether Nokia has already approached potential buyers for the property.
In the meantime, the decision to sell may not even go through. “As we said during Q2 results,” the Nokia spokesperson concluded, “Nokia is re-evaluating all non-core operations, including its real estate.”