Nokia Acquires Trolltech

Feb 04, 2008

The Finnish cellphone manufacturer Nokia is looking to acquire the Norwegian software enterprise Trolltech for around 104 million euros.

Oslo, Norway, based Trolltech gained fame thanks to its Open Source library, Qt. The cross-platform Qt development library is available for the Windows, and Mac OS operating systems as well as Unix derivatives and is used in the libraries for the KDE Linux desktop. The Norwegian software developers were recently listed as TROLL on the Oslo stock exchange. Nokia is offering the shareholders 16 Norwegian crowns (NOK) per share, that is about 1.98 euros. Right now, the share is trading in Oslo at 15.60 NOK. According to a press release, Trolltech's management is advising shareholders to accept the offer. The owners of some 66 percent of the shares, including various venture capitalists, have reportedly already agreed to the take-over. 90 percent of all shares are required to secure the deal.

With the acquisition Nokia is looking to extend its cross-platform strategy for mobile devices and desktop applications, and to reinforce its Internet services. According to Nokia, the "talented team" at Trolltech will play "an important role" in achieving this goal. Trolltech's CEOs and founders, Haavard Nord and Eirik Chambe Eng, are delighted: "Trolltech and Nokia share the goal of accelerating the adoption of Trolltech's Qt based technology in the commercial market and in the open source community", says Haavard Nord. Nokia also promises to continue Trolltech's current Open Source strategy. Trolltech's developments will continue to be released under commercial and Open Source licenses in future, according to the press release. Qt is available both under the GNU General Public License (GPL), and under a commercial license which is only needed to develop products that are not placed under a free license themselves. Nokia hopes to achieve faster development cycles and increase the competitiveness of its S60 and Series 40 devices through the acquisition of the Open Source company says Kai Öistämö, Executive Vice President Devices with Nokia. "for Nokia, software plays a major role in our growth strategy for devices, PCs and the integration with the Internet", says the Nokia manager. The transaction is due for completion in the latter half of 2008.

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