British luxury phone company Vertu has sold for the sum of £50 million to a Turkish millionaire. Vertu was established by Nokia in 1998 to create high end cellphones covered in ostrich leather and featuring titanium frames. Hakan Uzan, the new owner is something of an intriguing figure. Along with his family, he was exiled from Turkey for opposing Turkey’s president, Recep Erdogan in 2009. The Uzans received asylum in France.
Uzan’s company Baferton Ltd. now owns Vertu which is interesting because the new owner has previously faced Nokia and Motorola in court for defaulting on payments which were owed to the companies, since Uzan had borrowed money from them to set up a mobile operator called Telsim. They also faced Donald Trump in court after backing out of a deal involving buying apartments in Trump Tower.
While the future of Vertu is unknown Hakan Uzan told The Daily Telegraph through a spokesperson, “Vertu is a powerful brand with an acknowledged market niche. I look forward to working with the team and providing the investment to enable Vertu to realise its full potential.”