July 17, 2009 / 12:54 PM / 10 years ago

UPDATE 1-Accenture to buy Symbian services unit from Nokia

* Nokia says deal will help Symbian realise full potential

* No price disclosed for sale of unit with 165 staff

* Acquisition expected to close within 90 days

(Adds details on unit, background, shares)

LONDON, July 17 (Reuters) - Technology consulting firm Accenture (ACN.N) has agreed to buy a unit of Nokia NOK1V.HE responsible for servicing the Symbian smartphone operating system that Nokia has given to an open-source foundation.

The parties did not disclose the price on Friday that Accenture would pay for the business, which has about 165 staff who provide customer support and engineering for Symbian, the world’s most popular smartphone system.

Nokia decided last year to make Symbian technology freely available in the hope it would encourage Internet developers to build innovative applications on the platform, helping it win back market share.

Peter Rupke, Nokia’s head of devices, said in a statement on Friday: “This agreement allows the Symbian professional services team to realise its full potential in the supply of independent services to the open-source ecosystem.”

Accenture said the acquisition would expand its ability to help customers in the fast-growing market for converged mobile services, as phones become more and more like computers and computing becomes more mobile.

The transaction is expected to complete within 60-90 days.

Nokia shares, which had been down about 2 percent after the company gave a disappointing outlook on Thursday, recovered slightly to trade down 1.8 percent at 9.30 euros by 1236 GMT. (Reporting by Georgina Prodhan; Additional reporting by Eva Lamppu in Helsinki; Editing by Jon Loades-Carter)

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