Nokia shareholders are today expected to approve the sale of its mobile division to Microsoft for US$7.36 billion, with the deal likely to close in the first quarter of next year.
Reuters reports the financial benefits of the deal are likely to outweigh objections by some shareholders.
HumanIPO reported in September on Nokia’s announcement it was to sell its Devices & Services section to Microsoft, with the Finnish firm describing it as “the best path forward for Nokia and its shareholders”.
Microsoft was granted a 10-year non-exclusive licence to Nokia’s patents and will itself focus on network infrastructure and services.
“It’s a bold step into the future – a win-win for employees, shareholders and consumers of both companies,” Microsoft’s outgoing chief executive officer (CEO) Steve Ballmer said in a statement at the time.
Also in September, Risto Siilasmaa, Nokia chairman, said: “Today is an important moment of change and reinvention for Nokia and its employees.”
He said: “With our strong corporate identity, leading assets and talent, and from a position of renewed financial strength, we will build Nokia’s next chapter.”
Nokia’s handset business has been making a loss, and the company will now earn over 90 per cent of its sales from telecommunications equipment division Nokia Services and Networks (NSN).
The move unites Windows Phone 8 with its biggest hardware supporter, giving Microsoft the integrated mobile offering it has been looking for with Surface and other devices. Some 32,000 Nokia employees are expected to transfer to Microsoft, including approximately 4,700 people in Finland.
Shares in Nokia have doubled since the announcement of the deal.