The Finnish government acquired a 3.3% stake in Nokia via its fully-owned holding company Solidium

The Finnish government has acquired 3.3% of the shares in Nokia Corporation for approximately  844 million euros ($1.04 billion).  The government said the acquisition was made through the state’s holding company Solidium. The shares have been acquired from the market during the beginning of the year.

Solidium is a holding company wholly owned by the state of Finland and a minority owner in nationally important listed companies. The holding’s equity investments total approximately 8.4 billion euros. With this recent acquisition, Nokia now represents 11% of Solidium’s equity investments.

”The divestment of our stake in Telia in the beginning of the year made it possible for us to invest into Nokia, which fits perfectly into Solidium’s portfolio. The appealing factors for us are the company’s strong market position combined with broad technological expertise, which provides opportunities for value creation. In line with our mandate, we hereby strengthen and stabilize the domestic ownership in this nationally very important company”, said Solidium’s CEO Antti Mäkinen.

Solidium had obtained SEK 5.1 billion ($622 million) from the sale of its 3.2% stake in Nordic telco Telia last month. The state-owned holding company also holds stakes in Finnish mobile operator Elisa

The news follows Nokia reporting that 2017 revenues had declined 2% to 23.15 billion euros as sales declined across all of the main areas in which the vendor has presence.

The company’s net loss also declined from 912 million euros to 1.44 billion euros on increased income and financial tax expenses.

Nokia CEO Rajeev Suri recently said that 2018 would see the company’s margins come under pressure.

However, Suri forecast the vendor will face improving market conditions in 2019 and 2020 due to full scale 5G rollouts.

In January this year, Nokia announced it had signed an agreement with Japanese telco NTT Docomo for the provision of 5G equipment for the operator’s future commercial launch, which is scheduled for 2020.

Under the agreement, the Finnish company will support NTT Docomo’s commercial operation in Japan by further enhancing existing baseband units and integrating its 5G New Radio (5G NR)-based AirScale hardware in the network.

Nokia will also support the Japanese telco in the evolution of its network from 4G/LTE to 5G, providing technology based on the new 3GPP-compliant 5G NR standard.

Last month, the vendor also reached an agreement with China Mobile under which the two firms will jointly investigate how the Chinese operator can extend its service offerings for vertical markets using the capabilities of 5G technology.

The joint research, which was announced during the 2018 Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, will focus on how industries could benefit from the growth of smart cities, smart transportation and intelligent video analytics, Nokia said.

Nokia said it is currently involved in more than 50 customer trials of 5G technology around the world, ahead of expected commercial launches between 2019 and 2020.

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