Nokia is reportedly looking to sell its luxury brand Vertu to a private equity group for about 200 million euros, or about $265 million.
The once-dominant cell phone maker is in advanced negotiations with Permira to unload the U.K.-based subsidiary, which is best known for offering $20,000 cell phones, the Financial Times reported today (subscription required). Goldman Sachs was reportedly advising on the sale.
Following a similar move by Fitch Ratings last week, Standard & Poor's on Friday cut the rating for the Finnish mobile phone maker to "junk." The weaker rating reflects a lower estimate for sales from Nokia's handset division this year along with a revised forecast on profits and cash flow.
Earlier this month Nokia reported a $1.76 billion loss for its first quarter as its Symbian phones continue to shed market share. The company has been hedging its bets on its new Windows Phone-based Lumia handsets, but sales have yet to take off on a global scale.
Earlier this year, the luxury phone maker launched a trio of phones to welcome the Year of the Dragon, complete with precious stones and top-grade metals, plus a hand-engraved four-claw dragon on the battery cover.