LONDON Nokia NOK1V.HE is to sell its luxury subsidiary Vertu, as the Finnish handset manufacturer overhauls its business in an effort to compete with other smartphone makers, the Financial Times reported on Thursday.
The newspaper cited one person familiar with the process as saying Nokia has appointed Goldman Sachs (GS.N) to oversee the sale of its UK subsidiary, but talks are still at an early stage.
Vertu, which makes luxury handmade phones, has yet to be given a value, although annual revenue is estimated to be between 200 million euros and 300 million euros ($268 million and $402 million).
Vertu has attracted interest from private equity groups, according to one person with knowledge of the business cited in the article published on the FT website.
The person cited by the FT said Vertu is also likely to attract attention from luxury goods brands, given its emerging market customer base and the potential for cross-selling.
Neither Nokia nor Goldman could be reached immediately for comment.
(Reporting by Stephen Mangan; editing by Carol Bishopric)