British luxury smartphone brand Vertu has now landed into the hands of a man belonging to an exiled and very secretive Turkish family. The company, which is known for bringing out exorbitant handsets as ridiculously expensive as £40,000, was earlier owned by the China-based Goding Holdings.
Vertu, as we all know, was introduced by Nokia and catered to the wealthiest strata of the society, bringing out devices that featured sapphire screens, titanium frames, and ostrich leather casings.
After the Finnish company’s decline, the ownership of the company continues changing hands (this being the third time it has been done so), clearly depicting that the luxury brand has failed to live up to its billing.
The man in question, Hakan Uzan, is the de facto owner of the brand now, since Baferton Ltd, the Cyprus-registered company that took over Vertu is funded by him.
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Belonging to a family which is currently under political asylum in France with its current whereabouts unknown, Uzan is no stranger to controversies.
The Uzan family is one of Turkey’s most controversial families and was once found in contempt of court in Britain besides engaging in court proceedings with the current President of the United States, Donald Trump, and smartphone companies Nokia and Motorola.
In the 90s, the family borrowed large sums of money from both the companies but was unable to pay and the dispute has continued ever since then.
Uzan, along with his brother also invited the wrath of Trump after they reportedly backed out of buying apartments in the Trump tower.
The takeover has dealt a fresh blow to Vertu, which has been dealing with a crisis of its own, aggravated by fierce competition, high manufacturing costs and cheaper alternatives.
The company’s last filing (which was way back in 2014) is self-explanatory and states a loss of £53m on sales of £110m.