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Rich Person Phone Brand Goes Kerplunk

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Vertu, the company that sells $50,000 smartphones, is shutting down its UK manufacturing operations. But everyone saw it coming.

The liquidation will result in the loss of some 200 jobs, according to The Telegraph. Employees had already expressed fear of losing their jobs, since the company was reportedly skipping out on paying its bills and employee wages.


Recent troubles at Vertu began with the takeover of Turkish exile and businessman Hakan Uzan, who promised to rescue the company from bankruptcy. Yet, he managed to add on more debt by not paying the company’s previous owner and suppliers such as Microsoft and Qualcomm.

Uzan accrued a debt of £128 million (about $166 million) and only offered to pay creditors £1.9 million (about $2.5 million).


“Our best efforts to achieve a pre-pack administration have failed because the financial requirements specified within the negotiations went beyond the point where the new company had a chance of financial viability,” A Vertu spokesperson told The Telegraph.

The company might not be entirely dead, though. A person familiar with Uzan’s plans told The Financial Times that he intends to resurrect the company sometime in the near future.

We’ve reached out to Vertu for comment, and we’ll update if we hear back.

[The Telegraph and The Financial Times]