Nokia faces challenge to Symbian purchase

Symbian shareholders are considering blocking a move by mobile handset manufacturer Nokia to take a majority stake in the UK-based mobile phone software company. Psion has agreed to sell its 31.1pc stake in Symbian to Nokia for an estimated £136m, which would give Nokia a 63pc stake in the business. However, Symbian's minority shareholders will be able to exercise their pre-emption rights to increase their holdings, preventing Nokia from seizing a majority stake. Psion shareholders and European regulators must first agree to the deal.

A spokesman for Nokia said: "This process will take some time to complete, and the other shareholders do have the possibility to purchase some part of the shares. But we do not comment on speculation." Ericsson, which owns 19pc of Symbian with Sony Ericsson, declined to comment yesterday on whether it intended to increase its stake. A source close to the situation said: "Psion's sale of its shares will almost certainly go through, either to Nokia or to Nokia and the other shareholders, depending on which shareholders take up their pre-emption rights.

News source: Telegraph

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