Vertu's UK Manufacturing Wing Shuts Down, Around 200 Employees Laid Off

Pablo Tucker
July 14, 2017

Few weeks ago, an issue had brewed up around the company and its transfer of ownership.

When Vertu was sold to Uzan, the company was already had unpaid bills, pending salaries and debts of £128 million ($165.5 million).

At the end of June the company applied to be put into administration by its owner, Turkish tycoon Hakan Uzan, who bought the firm in March. Ouch! Both sides threatened to sue each other and the fate of about 200 workers was hanging in the balance.

The jobs of almost 200 United Kingdom workers at the firm will be lost after an ambitious rescue plan by a Turkish multi-millionaire failed to keep the company afloat. All this while, the jobs of around 200 employees in the United Kingdom manufacturing operation was in danger. Some Vertu models boasted state of the art technology, superior craftsmanship and materials, as well as bespoke services - including a concierge service which provided 24-hour worldwide assistance to users. At that time, Vertu had racked up debts in excess of £125 million (about Dollars $160 million) and was facing bankruptcy.

Uzan has stated that he will still hold on to the brand and plans to resurrect the company and its services at some point in the future, perhaps as soon as September of this year (according to Vertu's website). Vertu allowed customers to speak to the people who have built their phone.

A tech analysts told the BBC that Vertu likely went under due to competition from companies offering to customise other smartphones with precious materials.

Vertu was founded by Nokia in 1998 with the goal of building high-end devices for the rich and famous, such as the £10,700 "Vertu for Bentley" and the £14,300 Signature Touch Pure Jet Red Gold. It was sold to Godin Holdings in 2015. The Financial Times reported that he is retaining the brand, the technology and design licenses and plans to rebuild the phone maker.

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