updated 10:58 am EST, Tue November 19, 2013
Transfer of Nokia division to Microsoft expected to complete in early 2014
Shareholders at Nokia have approved the sale of the company's Devices and Services arm to Microsoft. Those eligible to vote overwhelmingly accepted the deal, with 99.7 percent agreeing to take the 5.44 billion euro ($7.35 billion) deal, and removes one more hurdle in Microsoft's quest to own part of Nokia's hardware business.
The vote forms part of an extraordinary meeting being held in Helsinki, Finland, reports the AFP, with the deal expected to be completed sometime in early 2014. The meeting itself is still underway, and is expected to continue for the rest of the day.
Once completed, Microsoft will gain control over the entirety of Nokia's phone division, possibly under the control of Stephen Elop, including the Windows Phone-based Lumia lines and the entry-level Asha range. It is not clear how exactly Microsoft will continue to operate the Asha and other basic phone ranges, as they are not currently running Windows Phone and do not directly play a part in helping Microsoft improve its mobile operating system's standings.
The deal will also see Microsoft licensing the Nokia, Lumia, and Asha brands for the next 10 years, Nokia's patents, and also its mapping services.
In the company's most recent quarterly results, Nokia revealed it had made an unexpected profit of 118 million euro ($162 million). The Devices and Services section actually made a loss of 86 million euro ($118 million), with the remainder of the business, namely Here and Nokia Solutions and Networks, bringing in profits of 24 million euro ($33 million) and 116 million euro ($228) respectively. Nokia is also set to earn more from its patent library in the future, thanks to an extended patent licensing deal with Samsung, with the revenue from that expected to be decided sometime in 2015.