The Telegraph
Tuesday , March 25 , 2014
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Nokia sees delay in deal with Microsoft

New Delhi, March 24 (PTI): Finnish handset maker Nokia today said its $7.2-billion deal with software giant Microsoft is expected to be delayed by a month and will now be finalised by April because of pending regulatory approvals from some anti-trust authorities in Asia.

The handset maker, which is facing multiple tax cases in India, added that the tax disputes in India would not affect the timing of the deal.

Last September, Nokia had announced it would sell a substantial part of its devices and services (D&S) business, including assets in India, to Microsoft for $7.2 billion by March 2014.

“It now expects the transaction whereby the company will sell substantially all of its D&S business and licence its patents to Microsoft to close in April 2014,” Nokia said in a statement today.

The two companies have received most of the required regulatory approvals, including clearances from the European Commission and the US Department of Justice, it said.

“However, the transaction is pending approvals from certain anti-trust authorities in Asia, which are still conducting their reviews,” Nokia said.

The Finnish company added, “Nokia reiterates that ongoing tax proceedings in India have no bearing on the timing of the closing or the material deal terms of the anticipated transaction between Nokia and Microsoft.”

The Finnish firm said both companies remained committed to the transaction, and Microsoft echoed it expected the deal to close next month.

“We are nearing the final stages of our global regulatory approval process. Currently, we are awaiting approval confirmation in the final markets,” Microsoft general counsel and executive vice-president (legal & corporate affairs) Brad Smith said.

The company expects it to close next month, in April 2014, Smith added.

Last week, in another setback for Nokia, the Tamil Nadu government slapped a Rs 2,400-crore tax demand on the company related to devices sold from its Chennai factory. Nokia has approached the Madras High Court challenging claims made by the Tamil Nadu government.

On March 14, the Supreme Court had refused to lift a restraint on the sale of its Indian assets in a separate case related to the payment of tax dues.