After 19 years of making some of the most luxurious and expensive phones on the market, Vertu is shutting down. The company was originally owned by Nokia, and in 2012 was then sold off to an equity firm by the name of EQT. A few years later in 2015 it was sold to China-based Godin Holdings, and was then purchased by Murat Hakan Uzan a year later in 2016.
Vertu has been in a state of bankruptcy for some time now, and although Uzan did offer to pay off £1.9 million (around $2.4 million USD) of the company’s £128 million worth of debt, this was unfortunately not a big enough offer for Vertu’s creditors.
As a result of this, Vertu’s manufacturing unit will be closing indefinitely. No more Vertu products will be created, and this also means that more than 200 employees at Vertu’s Hampshire location will be losing their jobs.
With Vertu’s manufacturing division gone, Uzan will hold onto the company brand, design licenses, and technology. The Financial Times reports that someone who is close with Uzan says that the man plans on bringing Vertu back to life at some point in the future, but we aren’t entirely sure how likely this is.
Vertu did bring something unique and different designs to the smartphone market, but with so much money still owed and not a lot of customers all that interested in paying an upwards of $30,000 for a phone made out of alligator skin and rubies running outdated hardware and software, Uzan will likely be facing an uphill battle should he ever try to resurrect the company.
Despite this, Uzan appears to be serious about bringing Vertu back as soon as possible. Upon visiting the company’s official website, you’ll be greeted with the following message:
“We have taken the difficult decision to suspend our current Vertu services and focus on developing a completely new, next generation suite of services, exclusively for our customers. We plan to launch these new services from September 2017 and update this page closer to launch with further information.”
I don’t think anyone in this website will be mourning them.
Source: The Financial Times