Nokia to buy French health gadget maker Withings for $191 million

Nokia logoNokia has confirmed plans to acquire French smart watch and fitness gizmo maker Withings for £132 million (~€170 million, $190 million) in an all-cash offer.

After selling off its mobile phone business and Here maps division, Nokia seems to be returning to consumer-facing products once again with its planned buyout.

France-based Withings was founded in 2008, and since then has released a number of connected health appliances, including smart watches, fitness trackers, thermometers, and baby monitors, among other gadgets.

If the proposed acquisition is approved by regulators, Withings will become part of Nokia Technologies—the digital media, brand licensing, and patent licensing arm of the Finnish company. Nokia Technologies recently launched its Ozo VR camera, which comes with a whopping £43,000 price tag.

Nokia to buy French health gadget maker Withings for $191 million

Nokia has been strategically re-positioning the company towards the Internet of Things and 5G tech, while at the same time confirming plans to axe more than 1,000 jobs on its home turf following its merger with French network kit vendor Alcatel Lucent.

"We have said consistently that digital health was an area of strategic interest to Nokia, and we are now taking concrete action to tap the opportunity in this large and important market," said Nokia CEO Rajeev Suri.

Withings—which has raised roughly £23 million in funding to date—is expected play a role in "the ongoing renewal" of Nokia Technologies' intellectual property portfolio, Nokia said. Withings co-founder and CEO Cédric Hutchings told existing customers that the company's "applications and products will continue to work in the same way."

He also hinted at what his team will focus on within Nokia: "We’ve been impressed with the plans the Nokia team has shared with us both for Preventive Health and Patient Care. As soon as we close the deal, we can start working together to determine our way forward as one team with a broad but focused portfolio of incredible products and innovations."

Nokia's planned takeover of Withings is expected to close in the third quarter of this year.

Source: Ars Technica

Tags: Nokia

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