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Nokia shareholders approve mobile phone sale to Microsoft

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Posted November 20, 2013
Nokia shareholders set to back Microsoft deal
Chairman of the Board of Directors and interim CEO of Nokia Risto Siilasmaa speaks at the Extraordinary General Meeting (EGM) of Nokia Corporation, Tuesday, Nov. 19, 2013 at the Helsinki Ice Hall, Helsinki, Finland. Nokia’s shareholders vote on Tuesday on whether or not to allow the corporation to sell its handset business to Microsoft. (AP Photo/Lehtikuva, Antti Aimo-Koivisto)
Nokia shareholders voted overwhelmingly Tuesday in favour of selling the company’s mobile business to US software giant Microsoft in an attempt to reinvent the once-proud Finnish telecoms titan.

According to Nokia—which will now become a telecom equipment and services company—the deal was almost unanimously approved with 99.52 percent support from shareholders at an extraordinary meeting in Helsinki.

The “yes” vote was expected. Analysts judge the deal as positive for the ailing Finnish firm.

“It was expected that the decision of selling the mobile phone division would arouse strong emotions,” Nokia board chairman and interim chief executive Risto Siilasmaa said during the meeting.

“We are certain that if we had continued with the old strategy, we would have most likely put Nokia, its shareholders and its employees in serious difficulties.”

Nokia’s share price has doubled since the plan was announced in early September with Microsoft agreeing to pay 5.44 billion euros ($7.35 billion) for the loss-making company’s mobile phone division.

‘Excellent deal’

“It’s an excellent deal. It’s hard to imagine a better price for a division experiencing structural losses,” Pierre Ferragu, an analyst at the brokers Sanford Bernstein, told AFP.

Read more at: Phys.org

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