Samsung is reported to be in the race to buy Nokia’s healthcare business, alongside Google and several French businesses, with suggestions French authorities are keeping an eye on the process.
Nokia said it was reviewing its options for the unit earlier this year, which “may or may not” result in a transaction. But with the division having previously been identified as a focus for the company, this alone was an indication that all was not going well.
Le Monde reported a number of companies are eyeing the business, including a mixture of European and international players. And while Google and Samsung have size on their side, it is believed the French authorities are watching closely due to the strategic importance of the digital health market.
There is a clear French link: Nokia’s health play was bolstered by the 2016 acquisition of devices company Withings, which was based in the country. A significant number of workers are still employed in France.
Le Monde said any buyer is likely to pay less for the business than Nokia’s acquisition of Withings, which was €170 million.
It is also not clear if Nokia will keep a stake in the business, so it retains some exposure to what is generally perceived as an important market, or if it intends to hold on to some assets away from the consumer devices operation.