GLOBAL – Nokia today announced a plan to acquire the 52 per cent of Symbian it doesn’t already own and set up the Symbian Foundation, making the platform open source in the process. The ambition is to create “the most attractive platform for mobile innovation and drive the development of new and compelling web-enabled applications” Nokia CEO Olli-Pekka Kallasvuo.
The full press release is below:
Espoo, Finland – Nokia today announced it has launched a cash offer to acquire all of the shares of Symbian Limited that Nokia does not already own, at a price of EUR 3.647 per share. The net cash outlay from Nokia to purchase the approximately 52% of Symbian Limited shares it does not already own will be approximately EUR 264 million.
Nokia has received irrevocable undertakings from Sony Ericsson Mobile Communications AB, Telefonaktiebolaget LM Ericsson (publ), Panasonic Mobile Communications Co. Ltd. and Siemens International Holding BV to accept the offer, representing approximately 91% of the Symbian shares subject to the offer. Nokia also expects Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd. to accept the offer.
The acquisition is a fundamental step in the establishment of the Symbian Foundation, announced today by Nokia, together with AT&T, LG Electronics, Motorola, NTT DOCOMO, Samsung, Sony Ericsson, STMicroelectronics, Texas Instruments and Vodafone. More information about the planned foundation can be found at www.symbianfoundation.org.
“This is a significant milestone in our software strategy” said Olli-Pekka Kallasvuo, CEO of Nokia. “Symbian is already the leading open platform for mobile devices. Through this acquisition and the establishment of the Symbian Foundation, it will undisputedly be the most attractive platform for mobile innovation. This will drive the development of new and compelling, web-enabled applications to delight a new generation of consumers.”
“The wide support for this initiative, uniting the industry around the Symbian platform, reflects the strong gravitational pull it has for application developers and other ecosystem players. We will drive efficient, open innovation by unifying the platform and simplifying the software supply chain, leveraging our experience from mobile devices. Nokia is strongly positioned to realize the benefits of open innovation, as well as accelerating time to market, enabling us to meet and exceed consumer expectations for leading converged devices and experiences”, Kallasvuo continued.
Symbian Limited is the software company that develops and licenses Symbian OS, the market-leading open operating system for mobile devices. User interfaces designed for Symbian OS include S60 from Nokia, MOAP (S) for the 3G network and UIQ, designed by UIQ Technology, a joint venture between Motorola and Sony Ericsson. A privately-owned company established in 1998, Symbian has its headquarters in London, UK and other offices in the United Kingdom, United States and Asia (Bangalore, Beijing, Seoul and Tokyo).
“Ten years ago, Symbian was established by far sighted players to offer an advanced open operating system and software skills to the whole mobile industry”, said Nigel Clifford, CEO of Symbian. “Our vision is to become the most widely used software platform on the planet and indeed today Symbian OS leads its market by any measure. Today’s announcement is a bold new step to achieve that vision by embracing a complete and proven platform, offered in an open way, designed to stimulate innovation, which is at the heart of everything we do.”
Mobile devices based on Symbian OS account for 60% of the converged mobile device segment (source: Canalys, 12 months to Q1 2008). Symbian OS represented approximately 7% of all mobile device sales in 2007, up from 5% in 2006 (source: Strategy Analytics). To date, more than 200 million Symbian OS based phones have been shipped, over 235 models, from 8 vendors and on more than 250 mobile networks around the world. More than 4 million developers are engaged in producing applications for Symbian devices.
Nokia expects the acquisition to be completed during the fourth quarter of 2008 and is subject to regulatory approval and customary closing conditions. On a reported basis, Nokia expects the transaction to be dilutive in 2009, approximately breakeven in 2010, and accretive in 2011. On a cash basis, Nokia expects the transaction to be dilutive in 2009 and accretive in 2010 and 2011. After the closing, all Symbian employees will become Nokia employees.