Finland takes stake in Nokia to boost national ownership

Joanna Estrada
March 13, 2018

The collapse of Nokia's former phone business was a major reason for Finland's decade of stagnation from which it is only just recovering.

However Nokia's decline affected the entire Finnish economy, while Microsoft's retreat from the mobile hardware industry resulted in savage job losses.

Solidium CEO Antti Mäkinen claimed Nokia fitted "perfectly" into its portfolio.

"In line with our mandate, we hereby strengthen and stabilise the domestic ownership in this nationally very important company", he said. He also noted that in addition to being an attractive investment target, Nokia is also Finland's largest company.

Nokia shares were down 0.4 percent at 1400 GMT.

The fund, which also holds stakes in operator Elisa as well as 10 other Finnish companies, said the investment had become possible after it had divested its holding in Telia.

The €844m move by government-owned Solidium Oy will see Finnish hands exerting more influence on the networking specialist, something that unkind observers might suggest should have happened some time ago. Nokia share now make up 11 percent of its investments which have a total value of 8.4 billion euros. The biggest owner at the end of previous year was USA asset manager Blackrock with a stake of 6.2 percent. "One must remember that Nokia is Finland's largest company and its Finnish ownership has been rather thin". Solidium manages minority holdings in 13 listed Finnish companies which mainly originate from an era of state-led industrialisation. "Nokia is a very global company these days, it is not that strategic to the country like telecom operator Elisa, for instance". The average acquisition price was 4.54 euros per share.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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