Nokia buys Comptel for $370m to add network software

The Nokia headquarters is seen in Espoo, Finland | REUTERS/Mikko Stig/Lethikuva

Nokia Oyj plans to buy Comptel Oyj for 347 million euros ($370 million) to add technology that helps phone carriers manage their networks, part of a push into software and services as network-gear sales sputter.

Comptel shareholders will get 3.04 euros a share in cash, Espoo, Finland-based Nokia said in a statement Thursday. That’s 29 percent more than Comptel’s closing price on the Helsinki exchange Wednesday.

Nokia and rivals such as Ericsson AB of Sweden are trying to sell more services to wireless carriers to lessen their reliance on cyclical network-equipment revenue. Phone companies in several key markets have largely completed their faster fourth-generation networks, putting pressure on infrastructure manufacturers such as Nokia.

Comptel’s board recommends that shareholders accept the offer. The stock jumped 29 percent to 3.04 euros at 10:22 a.m. local time, as Nokia added 0.5 percent to 4.57 euros.

The purchase of Helsinki-based Comptel is part of Nokia’s plan to build a standalone software business. The purchase gives it programs to help process and analyze data traveling in carriers’ networks.

Last week, Nokia reported a 13 percent decline in fourth-quarter revenue to 6.7 billion euros as equipment sales plummeted. Services sales at Nokia’s networks business were relatively stable at about 2.5 billion euros.

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