All good things must come to an end, even this long-running series of articles on Nokia's
On Wednesday, Nokia's co-owners in Symbian -- Siemens
|Ownership in Symbian|
Out of all the co-owners, only Samsung will be drawing down its relative ownership interest (Ericsson's individual stake will fall, but due to its participation in the Sony Ericsson joint venture, it will actually be increasing its indirect interest in Symbian.)
The most important number above, of course, is Nokia's. The Finnish telecom giant will be acquiring much less than the 63% stake it originally was aiming for. But that actually is a good thing, for it means that Symbian will remain more or less a cooperative venture among all of its owners. Thus, those of the owners who are not named "Nokia" will be far less likely to leave the ranks of cell phone manufacturers that purchase Symbian's software.
The co-owners also will make additional capital contributions of about $90 million to Symbian in a rights issue, and these funds will be used for two things: to increase Symbian's staff by about 30%, and to fund further software work that will help introduce Symbian's "Symbian OS" operating system to more mass-market cell phones (currently the software is primarily used in "smartphones").
Between their purchases of Psion's interest in Symbian and their contributions as part of the rights issue, Nokia and the other co-owners of Symbian will be anteing up a total of nearly $350 million -- a considerable investment even for companies of the size we are talking about. With that much money on the line, this coalition of Symbian OS-users will become considerably less likely to suffer further defections to the cell phone software platform being developed by Microsoft
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Fool contributor Rich Smith owns no shares in any company mentioned in this article, although he has owned shares of Nokia in the past.