Nokia set to sell Withings back to its founder

Having indicated it wanted to get out of the digital health game earlier this year, Nokia is selling Withings back to the bloke it bought it from.

Éric Carreel is one of the founders of Withings and he seems to have held on to much of the cash he trousered when Nokia bought his company two years ago for €170 million. Nokia isn’t revealing how much he’s buying it back for but, since it’s been on the market for 2-3 months it seems safe to assume he bought it back at a significant discount.

Nokia isn’t saying much about this clear strategic failure, which is understandable, merely reiterating the established party line. “The planned sale is part of Nokia’s honed focus on becoming a business-to-business and licensing company,” said the announcement. In other words, we got a bit carried away with diversification but now we’ve learnt our lesson. At the time the move seemed intriguing, given Nokia’s rich devices heritage, but that ship has clearly sailed.

There seems to be a fair bit of this kind of contrition about these days. Yesterday Cisco bailed on its video services business and Ericsson has been attempting a similar move with its TV efforts for a while. The current corporate fashion seems to be to double down on your core competence, which seems sensible.

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