Nokia expects Microsoft deal to close in April, still awaits regulatory approval in Asia

In a press release issued Monday morning (8:00, CET +1) in Espoo, Finland, Nokia announced that it now expects its deal with Microsoft to transfer “substantially all of its Devices and Services business” to close in April 2014. That makes misses the cut, just barely, for a “First Quarter 2014” transaction as was announced when the deal was first announced last September. Here’s the complete press release:

Nokia expects the sale of substantially all of its Devices & Services business to Microsoft to close in April 2014

Nokia Corporation
Stock Exchange Release
March 24, 2014 at 08:00 (CET +1)

Espoo, Finland – Nokia today announced that it now expects the transaction whereby the company will sell substantially all of its Devices & Services business and license its patents to Microsoft to close in April 2014. This compares with Nokia’s previous expectation on the transaction closing in the first quarter of 2014, which Nokia communicated when the company first announced the transaction on September 3, 2013. Nokia and Microsoft remain committed to the transaction.

As previously communicated, the closing of the transaction is subject to regulatory approvals and other customary closing conditions. Nokia and Microsoft have already received most of the required regulatory approvals, including approvals from the European Commission and the U.S. Department of Justice. Furthermore, Nokia and Microsoft continue to make good progress related to the closing conditions and integration planning. However, the transaction is pending approvals from certain antitrust authorities in Asia which are still conducting their reviews.

Nokia and Microsoft continue to be confident that the transaction will close, resulting in the sale of substantially all of Nokia’s Devices & Services business to Microsoft, and both companies are working diligently to close the transaction as expeditiously as possible.

Nokia reiterates that ongoing tax proceedings in India have no bearing on the timing of the closing or the material deal terms of the anticipated transaction between Nokia and Microsoft.

Once the transaction is complete, former Nokia CEO Stephen Elop will come back to Microsoft where he worked for over 2 years prior to leaving to take job and moving Nokia on to a Windows Phone platform. He’ll head the Devices and Studios Engineering group at Microsoft, with current head of that group, Julie Larson-Green, heading to Applications and Services Engineering to work for Qi Lu.

Microsoft will face some immediate challenges once the sale is complete, perhaps the least of them to grow the Windows Phone business. Nokia has just launched its first Android powered phone, the Nokia X, which has just about everyone speculating on what Microsoft will do with Android in the house. Nokia also has a direct competitor to Microsoft’s Surface family of devices, the Nokia 2520, and how Surface and Nokia devices will co-exist is another burning question, yet to be answered.