It’s been a couple of months since Nokia revealed that it had agreed terms for the sale of its devices business to Microsoft. The announcement came as a shock to some, despite others predicting for some time that such a deal was inevitable, given the increasingly close relationship between the two companies since Nokia had adopted Windows Phone as its smartphone OS.
There is still the matter of shareholder approval to consider, however, before the deal can be closed. That approval is expected to come today, as the company holds a meeting with shareholders which will see them vote on whether to accept the sale and the terms of the deal announced in September.
As Reuters notes, shareholders are not expected to reject the deal, although there is a chance that some dissenters may use the opportunity to voice their opposition to the deal. However, it is believed that Nokia may be planning to issue a dividend to shareholders, the promise of which may well be enough to quell any significant opposition. Nokia stands to pocket €5.44bn EUR ($7.35bn USD / £4.57bn GBP) from the deal, which will also see the company licensing some of its patents and services to Microsoft.
Nokia’s share price has increased considerably since the planned sale was announced. As you can see from the graph above, Nokia's share price was $3.90 going into the weekend before the deal was revealed; by the end of trading on September 3 (the day of the announcement, marked by the dot on the graph), the share price had soared 31% to $5.12. At close of trade yesterday, its shares were valued at $8.06 - more than double their value less than three months ago.
With a dividend payment expected, frustrated shareholders will likely be keen to enjoy some of the spoils after seeing the company’s value plummet in recent years, as it struggled against increasing competition in the smartphone space.
The shareholder meeting begins at 1400 local time (1200 GMT) in Helsinki. Subject to shareholder and regulatory approval, the sale is expected to be completed early next year.