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Business
14 Jul 2017

Luxury phone-maker Vertu shutting-down, fails to pay £128 million debt

Vertu shuts down its operation

Known for its jewel and stone-encrusted phones around the world, Vertu has decided to shut down its manufacturing operations in the UK.

The announcement came after its Turkish owner exiled in Paris. Murat Hakan Uzan made a failed attempt to pay off company's £128 million debt with a £1.9 million outstanding payment.

Founded by Nokia in 1998, Uzan bought the company in 2016.

In context

Vertu shuts down its operation
What caused Verto's downfall?

Reason

What caused Verto's downfall?

Vertu had been facing financial difficulties as competition cropped in the market after other companies started to offer customized options.

The phones focused more on their looks and design, but were way behind in terms of technology. They had old version of Android running on last year's processors.

It started losing its bling and its customer base shrank too.

History

First luxury mobile brand

Vertu was started by Finnish phone giant Nokia in the year 1998 to cater to the needs of wealthy customers desiring a fancy phone.

The company hand made the phones at very low volumes. However, the price range started from £11,100, and the most expensive ones cost more than £30,100.

Vertu used synthetic sapphire for its screens which made them incredibly strong.

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Vertu went through multiple owners before Turkish owner Uzan

Owners

Vertu went through multiple owners before Turkish owner Uzan

Vertu first came into existence in the year 1998, when it was founded by Nokia.

However, the mobile giant decided to sell it off to private equity company EQT. EQT sold it off to Chinese company Godin Holdings in 2015.

In the year 2016, it was finally bought by Vertu's current owner, Murat Hakan Uzan. He has no plans of selling it so far.

Is it the end for Vertu?

With 200 people laid off, Murat Hakan Uzan plans on retaining ownership of Vertu's brand, technology, and design licenses. He may rebuild the company in future.

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