Vertu shuts down its UK manufacturing arm after it failed to pay $165 million debt

Vertu, the manufacturer of luxury smartphones with exorbitant prices, has been struggling lately. The company has not paid its suppliers or staff recently and allegedly owes Microsoft $3.2 million in rent, as the software giant owns the lease for its headquarters.

Hakan Uzan, the Turkish exile owner of Vertu who currently lives in Paris, has offered to pay just $2.4 million of the company's $165 million debt to creditors, resulting in the closure of its UK manufacturing operation. The shutdown will lead to the loss of nearly 200 jobs. A spokesman for Vertu said in a statement:

"Our best efforts to achieve a pre-pack administration have failed because the financial requirements specified within the negotiations went beyond the point where the new company had a chance of financial viability. No other part of the group is affected by this development."

A person familiar with Uzan's plans told The Financial Times (paywall), that the controversial Turkish businessman intends to resurrect the company in the future. Vertu was originally part of Nokia before it was sold in 2012 to private equity company EQT, from whom Chinese company Godin Holdings purchased it three years later. Uzan acquired the troubled phone maker in March 2017.

Source: The Telegraph

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