Nokia announced on Tuesday that it had at last located a buyer for its gleaming Finnish headquarters. Mired in financial troubles, Nokia has been selling off assets -- including some of its patents -- to help it sustain its Windows Phone 8 push as it downsizes and attempts a turnaround.
Interestingly, while Nokia sold its headquarters for ?170M ($222.5M USD) to Exilion in a deal to be closed by the end of the year, it's also going to stay in the headquarters on a "long-term" lease deal. In that regard the move is similar to Ford Motor Comp.'s (F) decision pre-recession to re-mortgage most of its North American properties, a move that gave it capital needed to weather the recent recession and become the only member of America's Big Three automakers not to enter government-guided bankruptcy.
Nokia's CFO Timo Ihamuotila remarks on the deal, "We had a comprehensive sales process with both Finnish and foreign investors and we are very pleased with this outcome. As we have said before, owning real estate is not part of Nokia's core business and when good opportunities arise we are willing to exit these types of non-core assets. We are naturally continuing to operate in our head office building on a long-term basis."
The decision to release the headquarters is also interesting as some had speculated Nokia might look to shift more of its management to North America, to be closer to ally Microsoft. However, it appears that for now Nokia is holding tight to its Finnish roots, even as it trims its workforce.