Luxury Smartphone Maker Vertu Goes Bankrupt; Shutting Down Operations

BY Rajesh Pandey

Published 14 Jul 2017

Vertu has always been known for making outlandishly expensive smartphones. The company was once owned by Finnish-giant Nokia before it sold the company in 2012. Sadly, the company has now announced that it would be shutting down its operations after a restructuring plan to save it from bankruptcy failed. 

Since 2012, Vertu has changed hands multiple times. After Nokia sold Vertu to EQT VI in 2012, it was sold off to a Hong Kong-based holding company Godin Holdings in 2015. Soon after, the company was sold for $61 million to Turkish businessman Hakan Uzan.

Vertu sold phones more as a fashion accessory and less as a smartphone. Despite its phones costing thousands of dollars, the company managed to find almost 350,000 takers for its products. Its phones were made from exquisite materials and were sold through some of the most expensive retail outlets in the world to attract the right type of audience. The company’s last smartphone was the Signature Touch which was released in 2015. It featured a price tag of $10,300 to $21,900 and featured a Snapdragon 801 chipset, 64GB storage, and a 4.7-inch Full HD display.

However, things have not worked in the favor of the company and it has now decided to shut down its operations. The company has a debt of $165.4 million, out of which Uzan — Vertu’s current owner — will only be paying off $2.4 million. Since the company is bankrupt, it has now looking to liquidate its assets to pay off its remaining creditors. The move also means that the 200+ people Vertu employed are now looking for a new job.

Despite this setback though, Uzan has not given up on Vertu. He still wants to revive the company down the line, but given the niche market that Vertu caters to, it is unlikely that the company would be able to make a successful comeback.

[Via The Financial Times]