Tuesday, December 04, 2012

Careful Nokia - learn lessons from Hilversum

Saw a story this afternoon that Nokia is selling its headquarters in Espoo, Finland and then leasing it back.

The firm said it received €170m for its headquarters from Exilion Capital Oy, a company owned by four Finnish institutions specialising in the management of real estate private equity funds. The funds managed by Exilion Capital invest mainly in commercial and residential properties in Finland’s growth centres. Nokia expects to complete the sale by the end of 2012.

“We had a comprehensive sales process with both Finnish and foreign investors and we are very pleased with this outcome,” said Timo Ihamuotila, Nokia’s CFO.
“When good opportunities arise we are willing to exit these types of non-core assets. We are naturally continuing to operate in our head office building on a long-term basis,” he added.
In October 2012, Nokia posted its fifth consecutive quarterly loss. The firm recorded an operating loss of €576m ($752) for the quarter ending September 30, 2012, dwarfing the €71m loss the firm posted in the same period in 2011. Net sales also dropped 19 per cent year-on-year from €8.98bn to €7.24bn.
Meanwhile in Hilversum, the scheme to outsource the Dutch Media park just North of the town to a separate company has ended in tears.

 TCN which exploited the park has gone into receivership. And the prospects for the whole area don't look good. A little while ago RTL said it would stay in Hilversum for the next 10 years, but I guess this latest development may mean a rethink. Many of the buildings used by public and commercial broadcasters are either being emptied, or will become empty in the next six months. 

Rent, compared to Amsterdam, wasn't that expensive. But Hilversum is a logistics nightmare to get to in the morning and its become a facilities centre rather than a creative place to be. The architecture is less than inspiring. 

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