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Microsoft is to buy Nokia’s phones division in a deal worth £4.6 billion. The news, announced overnight, will see Microsoft take ownership of Nokia’s Devices and Services, as well as licensing its HERE maps and patents.

While the Big M will own the Lumia and Asha brands, the Nokia name will be licensed for ten years and used to brand ‘current Nokia mobile phone products’ according to a statement from Microsoft.

Nokia CEO Stephen Elop, along with a number of other senior executives, will now work for Microsoft, with Risto Siilasmaa, Chairman of the Nokia Board of Directors, stepping up to act as Interim CEO.

The Espoo, Finland company will continue to operate as a standalone business, with a focus on its NSN network infrastructure offering, HERE Maps and advanced technologies.

“It’s a bold step into the future – a win-win for employees, shareholders and consumers of both companies. Bringing these great teams together will accelerate Microsoft’s share and profits in phones, and strengthen the overall opportunities for both Microsoft and our partners across our entire family of devices and services,” said Steve Ballmer, Microsoft CEO.

“For Nokia, this is an important moment of reinvention and from a position of financial strength, we can build our next chapter,” added Siilasmaa.

The deal still needs to be ratified by Nokia’s shareholders, with an extraordinary general meeting planned for November. A press conference is due to be held by Nokia at 9am UK time.

Source Microsoft

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