The Finnish government has acquired a three per cent stake in Nokia in a bid to strengthen the country’s ownership in the company.
Nokia is Finland’s largest company and therefore seen as an important target for the Solidium Oy, the State of Finland’s investment arm, which has investments worth €8.4 billion.
It has purchased 3.3 percent of Nokia for €844 million, meaning the firm accounts for 10 percent of its total holdings.
The idea is to “stabilise” Finnish control of nationally important companies and grow the value of its investments to the benefit of the taxpayer.
Nokia and Finland
“The divestment of our stake in [mobile operator] Telia in the beginning of the year made it possible for us to invest into Nokia, which fits perfectly into Solidium’s portfolio,” said Solidium CEO Antti Mäkinen.
“The appealing factors for us are the company’s strong market position combined with broad technological expertise, which provides opportunities for value creation. In line with our mandate, we hereby strengthen and stabilize the domestic ownership in this nationally very important company.”
Nokia’s fall from grace as the world’s largest and most influential mobile phone manufacturer is well documented. It sold its devices and services business to Microsoft in 2013, while a consortium of car makers bought its HERE maps division.
The current Nokia sells telecommunications network equipment and is a major player in the industry following the merger with Alcatel Lucent.
However Nokia’s decline affected the entire Finnish economy, while Microsoft’s retreat from the mobile hardware industry resulted in savage job losses. Nokia was forced to cut some positions last year and cease development of its OZO VR camera technology.
Smartphones bearing the Nokia brand are still being made by HMD Global, which has revived a number of classic designs, such as the Nokia 3310.