Nokia (NOK) Sells Off Assets To Offset Losses

Nokia (NOK) Sells Off Assets To Offset Losses

As mounting losses deplete cash, Nokia Corporation (NYSE:NOK) has turned to selling off assets it feels are no longer core to its operations.

In announcements today, Nokia Corporation (NYSE:NOK) has sold a clutch of about 500 patents to Vringo, a U.S. firm that deals in mobile technology and intellectual property. Separately, Nokia Corporation (NYSE:NOK) also sold its Qt software operations to Finnish IT company, Digia Oyj. The sale to Vringo will realize $22 million and a share of future revenues from the patents. The deal amount with Digia was not made public.

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The asset sales come in the wake of a huge restructuring program, designed by Nokia to cut about 10,000 jobs and reduce non-core assets. The company lost a massive $1.9 billion dollars in its second quarter.

Vringo, Inc. (NYSEAMEX:VRNG) is a company engaged “in the innovation, development and monetization of mobile technologies and intellectual property” according to its press release. The company agreed to purchase over 500 patents and patent applications globally from Nokia, of which 109 patents were issued in the United States. The firm will pay $22 million upfront, and should these patents yield more than $22 million in revenue, then Nokia would be paid 35 percent of the additional income.

Vringo, Inc. (NYSEAMEX:VRNG) has been called a “patent troll” – a company that uses its control of patents to extract cash from innovative companies. In April, businessman Mark Cuban, disclosed a 7.4% stake in Vringo in an SEC filing. Donald Stout is a Vringo director and Chairman of Vringo’s intellectual property committee. He is also the co-founder of NTP Inc., which last month settled with a host of major Silicon Valley companies for infringing on patents owned by NTP. Given this background, it appears that Nokia has outsourced the responsibility for milking its patents for revenue to Vringo.

In the other deal, Nokia Corporation (NYSE:NOK) sold off its cross-platform Qt software unit to Digia, a firm dealing in software solutions and services. Nokia obtained Qt in a 2008 purchase, and the unit lost its relevance after Nokia Corporation (NYSE:NOK) moved to tie up with Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) for its Windows Phone software. Though the amount was not disclosed, it may not be more than a fraction of what Nokia paid for it in 2008.

According to Digia, “Following the acquisition, Digia plans to quickly enable Qt on Android, iOS, and Windows 8 platforms.”