Vertu, UK-based Nokia's subsidiary dedicated to the luxury cellphones market (with cellphones costing dozens of thousands of dollars), is in talks to be sold to European private equity firm Permira, according to information from The Financial Times.
Vertu has become a problem for Nokia. As the company is sinking and Vertu's luxury phones can cost over £5,000 to be manufactured, it's no longer worth to keep the company running as it is losing its target demographic to a cheaper and more effective iPhone 4S and some Android models.
Why did Vertu slow down? Well, although Vertu's cellphones are created with titanium, diamonds and multiple different gems, the final price did not give the consumer the best technology their money can buy. Vertu's first touchscreen phone, for example, was released in October 2011, and it was running Nokia's already dead Symbian OS.
Although Vertu's sales are lowering, the brand is still somewhat strong between sports players, oil-rich families and Russian business magnates as they are of more ostentation than an iPhone with Swarovski or Diamond cases would. There are reports of a €200 million sale just in the last quarter.
The rumored buyer of Vertu, Permira, is already known for owning other luxury brands, including Hugo Boss and Valentino, so Vertu seems to be going to good hands in case the sale is finalized. There are no reports on how much Nokia is asking for the subsidiary.