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Nokia to sell Withings health division back to original founder

Nokia bought the company two years ago, but is now moving away from making consumer products to focus on become a licensing company.


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Katie Collins/CNET

Nokia is in discussions to sell its health division Withings back to its original co-founder and chairman Éric Carreel, the company announced on Wednesday.

The planned sale is part of Nokia's honed focus on becoming a business-to-business and licensing company, it said in a press release. The deal is expected to close towards the end of June.

Nokia purchased the French company almost two years ago exactly for 170 million euros ($204m) and rebranded all Withings products as Nokia Health devices in February 2017. But the company has been looking to sell its health arm for a number of months now, with Google's smart home division Nest originally rumored to be a potential buyer.

Withings is best known for its Activité smartwatch line, but also has a number of health-related products, including a sleep tracker, connected scales and a wireless blood pressure monitor. Nokia's attempt to get back into hardware also included the short-lived Ozo VR camera, but killed the product off back in October 2017, purportedly to focus on digital health.

The company is now switching focus again to licensing its extensive patents. It also licenses its name to HMD Global, which makes Nokia-branded phones.