While many troubled companies sell off assets to try and raise cash to recover equilibrium, Nokia may be taking it to the extreme. The Finnish handset maker, which is in the process of downsizing, has confirmed that it is looking to sell one of its largest assets: its global headquarters in Espoo, Finland. The company hopes to raise up to $387 million (€300 million) from the sale. The company has emphasized, however, that it has no plans to leave Finland.
The story of the company’s plans was first broken by the Finnish language news site Helsingen Sanomat, which noted that Nokia is hoping to reduce transaction costs in its mobile phone unit to €3 billion by the end of next year. Reducing facilities costs is seen as one way to accomplish that feat.
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A Nokia spokesperson said that it is evaluating this option, but that it may end up leasing back the same building, and in any case has no plans to leave Finland in the process.
“As we said during Q2 results, Nokia is re-evaluating all non-core operations, including its real estate. However, we do not have any plans to move our headquarters,” a spokesperson said via e-mail. “As with most companies whose core business is not in owning real estate, it makes common business sense not to tie assets in real estate property but rather invest and focus in its core operations. Divesting real estate is an entirely different thing compared to the location of the headquarters. As we have said many times before, we have no plans to move our headquarters,” said the spokesperson.
The spokesperson pointed out that selling and re-leasing property is not unusual in Finland. Kone Oyj, an engineering and services firm also located in Espoo, did the same thing in 2007, as did Stora Enso Oyj, a Finnish pulp and paper manufacturer, in 2008.
“It’s just a case of looking at our options when it comes to real estate and beyond,” the Nokia spokesperson said.
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Edited by Brooke Neuman