Nokia to acquire digital health products maker Withings

Nokia yesterday struck a deal to buy digital health products maker Withings S.A. for €170 million ($191 million).

France-based Withings was founded in 2008 by chairman Eric Carreel and CEO Cedric Hutchings. It employs 200 people across Paris, France, Cambridge, US and Hong Kong.

Its product portfolio includes activity trackers, weighing scales, thermometers, blood pressure monitors, home and baby monitors and others.

"Since we started Withings, our passion has been in empowering people to track their lifestyle and improve their health and wellbeing," said Hutchings. "We're excited to join Nokia to help bring our vision of connected health to more people around the world."

"With this acquisition, Nokia is strengthening its position in the Internet of Things in a way that leverages the power of our trusted brand, fits with our company purpose of expanding the human possibilities of the connected world, and puts us at the heart of a very large addressable market where we can make a meaningful difference in peoples' lives." Nokia CEO, Rajeev Suri said in a statement.

Nokia, once the pioneer and undisputed market leader in mobile phones and with a market value then reaching €300 billion, was forced to sell its handset division after failing to compete with Apple and Samsung Electronics.

Suri, who took over as head of Nokia's networks unit in 2009 and became group CEO in 2014, has been able to revive the equipment business by axing more than 25,000 jobs and cutting costs elsewhere.

Under his leadership, Nokia's equipment unit has progressed and now generates around 85 percent of the company's annual revenue.

The Finland-based company sold its handset business to Microsoft in 2014, and a year later acquired its smaller French rival Alcatel-Lucent SA in a €15.6 billion ($16.6 billion) in an all-stock deal to create the world's largest wireless infrastructure company.