Microsoft’s move to acquire Nokia’s phone business moved another step closer to completion as Nokia shareholders voted today to approve the deal.
John Stoll, Stockholm bureau chief of The Wall Street Journal, tweeted this morning:
Microsoft, you got your wish. Nokia shareholders green light $7B handset deal at meeting in Helsinki.
— John Stoll (@johndstoll) November 19, 2013
The vote came at a extraordinary meeting of shareholders held today in Helsinki.
Even before the meeting, about 90 percent of the shareholders who registered in advance to vote had voted to approve the deal, Nokia’s chairman said, according to a Wall Street Journal report. Those who registered in advance represented about 45 percent of Nokia’s outstanding shares, the report said.
Microsoft announced in September that it is buying Nokia’s handset business as part of a $7.2 billion deal.
Microsoft is paying about $5 billion (3.79 billion euros) for Nokia’s Devices & Services Business. In addition, it is paying about $2.18 billion (1.65 billion euros) to license Nokia’s patents and to license and use Nokia’s mapping services.
The businesses that Microsoft is getting from Nokia brought in about $19.7 billion (14.9 billion euros) revenue in 2012, about half of Nokia’s sales that year.
The deal still needs approval from regulators before it is completed.
Once the transition is finalized, former Nokia CEO Stephen Elop is expected to become an executive vice president at Microsoft, heading a devices division that will include Windows Phone, as well as Xbox and Surface.
Elop’s name has come up as a possible successor to retiring Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer. Elop has reportedly said that if he does become CEO, he would concentrate on bringing Office to other, non-Microsoft platforms and would consider shutting down Bing and selling Xbox, according to a Bloomberg report.
Some of Nokia’s top executives will be making the move to Microsoft with him. In addition, about 32,000 Nokia employees will become Microsoft employees. Most of them will remain working at Nokia’s manufacturing and assembly facilities around the world. About 4,700 of those employees work in Finland in research and development, engineering, design, and operations and will remain there.