It was just over two years ago that Nokia bought health-focused Withings for $191 million amidst the company searching for a new niche after the Finnish company had sold off its Devices and Services unit to Microsoft back in 2014. Nokia tried dabbling in the VR space with its $60,000 Ozo camera but ultimately killed it off late last year while also culling 310 jobs in the process, leaving the business to focus on networking equipment and licensing deals. In fact, its deal with HMD Global has seen numerous Nokia-branded smartphones released to market, with the Nokia X having been teased just a few days ago.
Now, it looks like the cellular stalwart's relatively recent acquisition of Withings is more or less going back from whence it came according to an announcement today. As part of Nokia's intention to "shift to become a business-to-business and licensing company", it has kicked off negotiations to sell off its Digital Health business to Éric Carreel, co-founder and prior chairman of Withings. The prospective deal would include the "ecosystem of hybrid smart watches, scales and digital health devices" for both consumer and enterprise segments. The discussions come after reports that other companies, such as Samsung and Google's Nest, had expressed interest in buying out the division.
An agreement is expected to be struck by the end of Q2 2018 when other information, such as the pricing of the deal, will likely be more readily disclosed. However, given that the Digital Health division posted revenues of around €52 million last year, the resulting amount could be a drop in the bucket compared to the €23.2 billion in sales achieved by all other divisions for the same period.
At present, it remains unclear whether or not the Withings name will also make a transition as part of any potential sale, as Nokia had phased out the brand in favor of its own late last year for its digital health products.