Nokia has revealed plans to sell its digital health business back to the co-founder of Withings, the French health tracking company Nokia bought in 2016.
Finland-based Nokia originally acquired Withings for $192 million in an effort to re-establish a presence in the consumer electronics market, rebranding Withings' iOS-compatible smart connected home products as well as a range of health and fitness wearables.
However, it looks as if the acquisition simply didn't pay off for the erstwhile mobile phone powerhouse. In 2017, the digital health division earned just $62.4 million in revenue, but the rest of the company posted sales of $27.9 billion. Now Nokia is handing back the business to Withings' co-founder, Éric Carreel. The sale will likely be at a significant loss, although the Nokia press release didn't mention figures:
Nokia announced a review of strategic options for the Digital Health business in February 2018. The planned sale is part of Nokia's honed focus on becoming a business-to-business and licensing company. The transaction is subject to terms agreed in the negotiations and completion of the information consultation with the Works Council of Nokia Technologies (France) SA., with the deal expected to close in late Q2 2018.
The announcement follows recent reports of layoffs from the company, as well as a leaked memo that revealed the digital health division was in a bad way with little prospect of turning things around. Then in October, Nokia announced a $164 million write-down of the division's assets. Google and Samsung were reportedly looking into taking the ailing health business off Nokia's hands, but today's announcement suggests nothing substantial came of the negotiations.