Super-luxury phone maker Vertu shuts down unable to pay its bills
14 July, 2017, 15:24
British-based luxury phone manufacturer Vertu has collapsed after finding that, surprisingly, there isn't actually much of a market for £10,000 smartphones.
In the smartphone industry, the name Vertu has become synonymous with luxury, extravagance, and a blatant disregard for value. While 200 employees are being laid off due to this shutdown, Uzan has been said to be planning to make comeback later this year.
When Vertu was sold to Uzan, the company was already had unpaid bills, pending salaries and debts of £128 million ($165.5 million). Its old owner - Hong Kong hedge fund manager Gary Chen - claimed that he still hasn't received the £50 million ($61 million) he was supposed to get for selling the company to businessman Hakan Uzan back in March. Both the parties threatened on filing legal case on each other. At that time, Vertu had racked up debts in excess of £125 million (about Dollars $160 million) and was facing bankruptcy.
Now, the inevitable has happened and Vertu has gone into liquidation, the 200 employes now left jobless.
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He also talked about Vertu's recent phones. The phones have included models coated in expensive leathers, built from premium metals, and even included buttons made from precious jewels, all contributing toward that high price point.
The company's smartphones included a 24-hour concierge service that could be accessed via a dedicated button on its phones.
Vertu was founded in 1998 and has changed its owners on a few occasions. Godin Holdings of China purchased it from that firm in 2015. The Financial Times reported that he is retaining the brand, the technology and design licenses and plans to rebuild the phone maker. Now the fate of the company is in the hands of Uzan.
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