As expected, Nokia’s devices and services business has been officially acquired by Microsoft today. The date was set earlier this week, and it seals the $7.2 billion deal the two companies entered into last September. Nokia has long been allied with Microsoft, committing fully to Windows Phone, but as explained when the merger was announced, Microsoft’s new arm will continue to support feature phones like the Asha and Nokia X ranges, as well as smartphones (we’ll have to wait to see what “support” means exactly). The obligatory press releases from both companies don’t reveal any grand plans or shift in focus, but each side has issued some closing remarks, if you like.
Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella said:
“Today we welcome the Nokia Devices and Services business to our family. The mobile capabilities and assets they bring will advance our transformation. Together with our partners, we remain focused on delivering innovation more rapidly in our mobile-first, cloud-first world.”
Stephen Elop, former Nokia CEO who’s moved over to become head of Microsoft’s hardware division, penned an open letter with similar sentiment:
“As Microsoft and Nokia Devices and Services come together as an expanded family, we will unify our passion, dedication and commitment to bringing you the best of what our joint technologies have to offer(…) From today onwards, the possibilities are endless. As now, we’re one,“
“Microsoft refers to Microsoft Corp. and its affiliates, including Microsoft Mobile Oy, a subsidiary of Microsoft. Microsoft Mobile Oy develops, manufactures and distributes Lumia, Asha and Nokia X mobile phones and other devices,” writes Microsoft.
Nokia will offer more details on the transaction during its its first quarter 2014 results announcement on April 29, 2014.
Nokia and Microsoft have also made certain adjustments to the scope of the assets originally planned to transfer. Nokia’s manufacturing facilities in Chennai in India and Masan in the Republic of Korea will not be transferred to Microsoft.
“In India, our manufacturing facility is subject to an asset freeze by the Indian tax authorities as a result of ongoing tax proceedings. Consequently, the facility remains part of Nokia following the closing of the transaction. Nokia and Microsoft have entered into a service agreement whereby Nokia would produce mobile devices for Microsoft,” said Nokia in a press statement.
Nokia plans to close its Masan facility in South Korea, which employs approximately 200 people.
Nokia has announced that it plans to offer a program of support, including financial assistance which would give its employees the chance to explore opportunities outside Nokia. The company plans to bring to Chennai and Masan elements of its Bridge program, which it had made available for employees affected by company changes in other sites.