Cellphone maker Nokia is in advanced talks to sell its UK subsidiary Vertu to private equity group Permira.
Vertu’s cellphones can feature crystal displays and sapphire keys, costing more than 200,000 pounds ($320,000) due to the precious metal components.
Nokia, which had its credit rating cut to “junk” status by Standard & Poor’s last week, first signaled its intention to sell Vertu in December, and recently said it plans to dispose of “non-core assets”.
The potential buyer Permira already owns several luxury brands including Hugo Boss and Valentino. They have also invested in the European high-street apparel retailer New Look.
Earlier this year, the luxury phone maker launched a trio of phones to welcome the Year of the Dragon, complete with precious stones and top-grade metals, plus a hand-engraved four-claw dragon on the battery cover.