Nokia close to ditching pricey mobile brand Vertu

Oh, are those £50,000 phones not selling?

Nokia close to ditching pricey mobile brand Vertu

Financially-challenged Nokia is on the verge of signing away its luxury mobile brand Vertu for a £162 million (about $236 million) cash injection.

You may remember Vertu from such uber-expensive mobile phones as the £213,000 Signature Cobra and the fact that its ringtones are recorded by the London Symphony Orchestra.

News of the sale first broke back in December 2011, and the

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Financial Times reports that talks to sell the luxury arm off are now in the advanced stages, with a private equity group named Permira reportedly the front-runner to acquire the brand.

Virtual Vertu

The phones may be pricey but the brand is more – Permira is apparently set to drop €200 million (£162 million) on the range.

Why spend so much? Certainly not for the technology – the handsets all run Symbian, after all – but the brand association which is quite the hit in the cash-rich Middle-East.

In these trying economic conditions, we all have to make sacrifices and for Nokia, whose cash is more strapped than most, that means selling off Vertu.

The company may have trouble ahead after its share rating was cut to 'junk' status (you don't need to know much about the stock market to know that being labelled 'junk' is a bad thing), but is focusing its efforts on the Nokia Lumia line-up running Windows Phone.

From Financial Times