Nokia today announced that it has started the process of enabling the transfer of Psion's shares in Symbian to Nokia. Symbian, owned by a core group of mobile industry players with its independent governance structure, will continue to pursue its fair and non-discriminatory licensing business of the standards-based Symbian operating system (OS).
Continued innovation in services, applications and handsets is required for the growth in the mobile industry. This requires that all parties have the ability to differentiate and add value to their products and services while maintaining end-to-end interoperability. As a founder and shareholder, Nokia is determined to make further investment to support Symbian's long-term success in the increasingly competitive wireless OS market. The decision to acquire Psion's shares in Symbian is based on Nokia's confidence in the Symbian OS as a core platform technology for advanced mobile devices.
The value of the transaction will derive from two parts. A fixed portion of GBP93.5 million (137.1 MEUR), and a variable payment of GBP0.84 (1.23 EUR) from Nokia to Psion for each Symbian OS device sold during 2004 and 2005. Upon completion of the transaction, Nokia estimates that its share in Symbian will increase from the current 32.2% up to approximately 63.3%.
"With its advanced and robust operating system, strong customer base and good relationships with operators, Symbian has successfully fulfilled the demanding technical requirements of mobile devices and the diverse needs of the market. It is vital to sustain Symbian's long-term market success in order to enable healthy competition in the OS market and to stimulate innovation throughout the value chain," said Pertti Korhonen, Chief Technology Officer, Nokia.
"The Symbian OS has proven its flexibility as an OS platform capable of supporting the demanding needs of the industry. Good examples include the UIQ software platform, the Series 60 Platform, the FOMA UI (user interface) and a number of vendor specific implementations - all running on top of the Symbian platform. This flexibility has resulted in a rich variety of advanced mobile devices enabling both handset manufacturers and operators to differentiate their offerings," he continued.
The intended transaction is subject to clearance by the competition authorities and approval by Psion plc's shareholders. Nokia and Psion have started these processes. In addition, other shareholders have proportional pre-emption rights to participate in the acquisition of Psion's shares. The completion of the transaction is expected to take place within the coming months.
In conjunction with Nokia's announcement today, Psion has announced its decision to sell its stake in Symbian to Nokia and to focus on developing Psion Teklogix, its core business.