Finland acquires 3.3% stake in Nokia, but it's not about phones

Ceria Alfonso
Marcha 13, 2018

The Finnish government has announced that it has placed an €844 million investment into domestically-based Nokia so far this year, increasing its current stake to 3.3 percent.

Nokia ruled the global mobile phone market a decade ago and the collapse of that business was a major cause of a decade of economic stagnation from which Finland is only just recovering.

Solidium has been taking a more active role in the boardrooms of the companies it owns stakes in.

Solidium CEO Antti Makinen said that this was a good investment because the former rubber boot maker was Finland's largest company and its Finnish ownership has been low.

Until recently Solidium had no holdings in Nokia.

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Reuters reports that Solidium has cashed out on shares in telco Telia, steel refinery SSAB and holdings firm Sampo to finance the Nokia investment. He also noted that in addition to being an attractive investment target, Nokia is also Finland's largest company.

The only other Finnish investors in Nokia are a trio of pension funds that have a combined stake of 3 percent. Nokia share now make up 11 percent of its investments which have a total value of 8.4 billion euros.

Nokia and rivals, Sweden's Ericsson and China's Huawei, have struggled in the past years as demand for current 4G generation network gear has slid.

It aims to keep significant Finnish companies "more or less Finnish", Makinen told Reuters in an interview last month, adding that the priority was to help the companies to succeed and not for example to protect Finnish jobs. The average acquisition price was 4.54 euros per share.

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