Nokia confirmed the sale of the Finnish mobile telecoms group's handset unit to U.S. software giant Microsoft at a shareholders' meeting on Tuesday, with speculation heating up over the future of both businesses.
More than 99 percent of shareholders voted to approve the sale at the meeting in Helsinki at 2 p.m. local time (7:00 a.m. New York time). The transaction is expected to close in the first quarter of 2014.
Nokia shares closed around 3 percent lower on Tuesday.
In September this year, Nokia agreed to sell its devices and mapping services business and to license its patents to Microsoft for 5.4 billion euros ($7.2 billion). The deal proved controversial because it marks the end of the iconic Finnish handset brand. Following the sale, Nokia said in a statement that it planned to focus on developing "advanced technologies, its patent portfolio and Nokia brand."
At the announcement of the deal back in September, Nokia's chief executive, Stephen Elop, said he would step down to rejoin his old employer, Microsoft. His three-year tenure at Nokia has proved controversial — particularly over his decision in 2011 to adopt Microsoft Phone software over the company's own operating system.
James Crawshaw, IT and Telecoms analyst at S&P Capital IQ, told CNBC he believed the sale would allow Nokia to invest further in its other divisions.
"They're left with the networks business which is the third largest globally after Ericsson and Huawei and they've also got a small sideline in mapping content for satellite navigation devices and they also have a patents portfolio that they're looking to monetize more aggressively going forward."