Psion has got shareholder approval to sell its Symbian stock and give Nokia controlling interest in the mobile operating system vendor.
The board managed to overcome objections from the Phoenix investment group at a general meeting on Friday but still has some hoops to go through.
The sale still needs approval from regulators and is worth an estimated £136 million. Investors might feel a little sour, as Symbian was valued at £1 billion at the height of the bubble, but Psion feels it has a good deal that will allow it to focus on its rugged handhelds, and Symbian feels its status in the market will protect if from undue domination by Nokia. However, the other Nokia partners, including rival handset makers SonyEricsson and Siemens, could still have an impact on the deal, as they have the right to demand some of the shares being sold by Psion, in proportion to their own holdings. For instance, although SonyEricsson only owns about 1.5 percent of Symbian, Ericsson owns 17.5 percent and has not yet said if it plans to weigh in.
The shareholder vote was by no means a walkover, as other investors joined Phoenix' plea to hold out for more money and possibly a flotation. In the end Phoenix' 13.5 percent holding was the core of a 33 percent revolt against the sale. And that was despite the strong possibility that much of the proceeds of the sale will go straight to investors as a dividend.
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