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Nokia buys a chunk of Panasonic

The deal announced Thursday will give the Finnish firm control of roughly one third of Japan’s mobile network market.

Nuori mies käyttää tablettitietokonetta.
Nokia hopes to strengthen its foothold in Japan's mobile data sector. Image: Mikko Kuusisalo / Yle

Nokia is acquiring part of Panasonic's network business in an effort to boost its presence in Japan.

On Thursday morning the Finnish firm – which earlier this year sold off its phone unit – said it will buy Panasonic's mobile phone wireless base station system business for operators as well as related wireless equipment system business.

Neither company has not disclosed how much the deal is worth. Nokia expects to complete the transaction by early 2015.

Nokia raked in nearly 5.5 billion euros when it sold its phone division to Microsoft three months ago. This month the software giant said it would cut many of the jobs held by former Nokia employees. Meanwhile Nokia has been buying up other businesses such as the Chicago-based SAC Wireless.

Japan a key market for Nokia

Hannu Rauhala, a senior equity analyst at Finland’s Pohjola Bank, notes that Japan is one of the new Nokia’s most important mobile network market areas.

“Nokia controls about a quarter of the Japanese market. This acquisition will bring that up to about one third,” Rauhala estimates.

Rauhala suggests that while this is not a “giant deal”, it is probably worth tens of millions of euros.

Panasonic could probably use the cash. On Thursday the electronics giant released third-quarter results showing that its net profits plunged by 65 percent from a year ago.

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