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Nokia rumored to be close to selling Vertu division

Nokia may finally be close to selling off its super exclusive Vertu mobile phone division. Bloomberg reports via unnamed sources that the company could announce a deal sometime later this week that would sell off Vertu to the Swedish private equity firm EQT Partners AB. Nokia stands to gain 200 million euros (about $250 million) if the deal goes through, according to the report.

Vertu, based in England, is known for its diamond studded mobile phones that costs thousands of dollars each. It was launched in 1988 by Frank Nuovo, who at the time was Nokia's chief designer. Even though 99.99 percent of the people in the world couldn't afford to buy a Vertu phone, the brand apparently commands a 60 percent share of the Western European market for so-called luxury phones.

In April, there were reports that Nokia was going to sell off Vertu to another buyer, the private equity group Permira. However, it appears those reports were either incorrect or that either Permira or Nokia pulled out of the deal.

Nokia, despite its sales success with the Lumia 900 in the US, is still bleeding cash. Some analysts believe that it will run out of its current cash reserves by as soon as sometime in 2013.

Source: Bloomberg

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