Finnish handset major Nokia today said it expects the USD 7.2 billion deal with Microsoft Corporation for the sale of its mobile devices and services business to conclude on April 25, even as the fate of its plant near Chennai remains uncertain.
“Nokia today announced that it expects the transaction whereby the company will sell substantially all of its Devices & Services business to Microsoft to close on April 25, 2014. The transaction is now subject only to certain customary closing conditions,” Nokia said in a statement.
The future of Nokia’s Chennai plant, which employs 6,600 people and is entangled in a tax dispute with Indian authorities, is uncertain.
A Nokia official said the company is still exploring the option of operating the plant by getting into a services agreement, which would allow it to continue as a contract manufacturer for other companies.
Last September, Nokia announced it would sell a substantial part of its devices and services (D&S) business, including assets in India, to Microsoft for USD 7.2 billion by March 2014.
The handset and other asset components under the deal will be handed over to Microsoft’s Finnish entity Microsoft Mobile Oy.
The company has often indicated that the transfer of the Chennai plant may be adversely impacted if the tax dispute remains unresolved.
Recently, the company offered a voluntary retirement scheme to its employees in Chennai and about 700 trainees are learnt to have opted for it. A Nokia India spokesperson declined to confirm the number.
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