Luxury phone maker Vertu, which is famous for manufacturing premium phones, has recently been acquired by Baferton Ltd. Exiled businessman buys Vertu. Baferton Ltd. has been funded by exiled Turkish businessman Hakan Uzan. According to The Telegraph, he paid £50m (approx. Rs 402.65 crores or $61 million) to purchase this British-based firm.
Vertu started out as a part of Nokia in the year 1998 but it has changed owners thrice since then. In October 2012, Nokia spun it off to Swedish private equity group EQT VI. Financial reports from the year 2014 state that the company suffered losses of 53 million on sales of £110 million. In 2015, EQT VI sold it to Godwin Holdings.
New Owner: Exiled businessman buys Vertu
Its latest owner Hakan Uzan, who belongs to the controversial Uzan family, has been involved in a large number of lawsuits, including disputes with Nokia, Motorola and even current US president Donald Trump.
Moreover, in the 1990s, the Uzan group borrowed money from Nokia to start a mobile operator company known as Telsim. However, the company soon started facing financial problems and defaulted loans.
Due to this, the Uzan family faced allegations about using the money to pay for private jets and properties etc. The Turkish government seized more than 200 of their companies to pay off debts reaching up to $5.7 billion.
Some reports state that they have received political asylum in France, however,the exact whereabouts of the Uzan family are unknown.
Hakan Uzan reportedly commented to The Daily Telegraph via a spokesperson. “I look forward to working with the team and providing the investment to enable Vertu to realize its full potential”, he said.
Ever since the development of smartphones, the company has become obscure and there has been a reduction in the number of buyers over the years. This is not surprising, considering they build smartphones costing up to $50,000. Vertu announced its latest Android-powered device “Constellation” in January 2017. Some of its features include a sapphire crystal screen, Dolby surround-sound audio tech and an Italian-made leather finish.
It will be interesting to see what this new development means for Vertu as well as the Uzan family.
Like us on Facebook. 🙂