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Luxury phone maker Vertu sold to Turkish businessman for £50 million

By Peter Chu - on 14 Mar 2017, 11:49am

Luxury phone maker Vertu sold to Turkish businessman for £50 million

Vertu, the British-based company responsible for the very opulent Constellation smartphone, has recently been sold to Turkish businessman, Hakan Uzan, to the tune of £50 million (approx. RM271 million).

According to The Telegraph, Uzan is the heir to an exiled and secretive Turkish business family that once owned a bank, several broadcasting companies, a telecommunications company, and a dozen other companies. The Uzan dynasty eventually came crashing down when they got into a predicament with the authorities in 2003.

This development marks the third time Vertu has changed ownership since it was established by Nokia in 1998. In October 2012, Nokia sold Vertu to EQT, a Swedish private equity firm for a price that was rumored to be within the ballpark of $200 million (approx. RM889 million). Three years later in November 2015, EQT announced that it would be selling off the company to Godin Holdings – an investment company based in Hong Kong – for an undisclosed amount.

In a statement given to The Telegraph via a spokesman, Uzan said: “Vertu is a powerful brand with an acknowledged market niche. I look forward to working with the team and providing the investment to enable Vertu to realize its full potential.”

It’s pretty easy to understand why Vertu has been changing hands so regularly over the past five years, especially once you realize that there are literally only a handful of people in this world who are financially capable enough to afford a diamond-encrusted phone – let alone during such dire and volatile economic conditions. In its most recent financial report that was made publicly available, back in 2014, Vertu made a loss of £53 million (approx. RM287 million) on sales of £110 million (approx. RM597 million).

Source: The Telegraph via TechCrunch