As Nokia (NYSE:NOK) shares hit new lows, rumors are spreading that the floundering Finnish cell phone maker is a target for acquisition. Just yesterday Samsung publicly denied talk that it was planning to buy Nokia.
Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) is also reported to have taken a look at Nokia, before opting to walk away.
Unnamed sources say that Redmond considered acquiring at least parts of Nokia last year. Allowed to inspect the cell phone maker’s inside financial information, however, Microsoft promptly scuttled the idea, CNET noted.
While Nokia is currently having some success with its new Lumia 900 smartphone, which uses Microsoft’s Windows mobile platform, the company, which once dominated the cell phone marketplace, is a latecomer to the smartphone market. It has paid a steep price for that tardiness.
Nokia shares have lost 90% of their value over the past five years. It’s market capitalization has collapsed, falling to just $10.45 billion, making it a potentially attractive takeover target. But only if someone can figure out how to make Nokia’s business — or parts of it –work profitably within their own operations.
So far, no other company seems to think that possible. Even Microsoft, which could easily afford to purchase Nokia, opted only to partner with it for the Lumia phone.
Nokia shares rose slightly more than 1% in Tuesday morning trading.