Vertu's United Kingdom manufacturing arm enters liquidation


Around 200 jobs will be lost during the liquidation and the company now has debts of around £128 million.

Vertu, the company that sells $65,000 smartphones, is shutting down its United Kingdom manufacturing operations.

Vertu phones were high priced with its Signature range starting at £11,100 ($14,300), and a model featuring 18-carat red gold costing £39,100 ($50,000).

Recent troubles at Vertu began with the takeover by Turkish exile and businessman Hakan Uzan, who promised to rescue the company from bankruptcy.

"They hand make the phone at incredibly low volumes and they were incredibly high-priced", Fogg said, noting that the use of synthetic sapphire and such unusual materials may also make the production process hard.

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When contacted by the BBC, an external spokesman for the firm, which is based in Church Crookham, Hampshire, said: "Well it's gone into liquidation and I'm not being paid by them any more". Owner Hakan Uzan will retain the brand, technology, and licenses, but we don't see Vertu popping up for a resurrection run anytime soon. Vertu has £128 million debt and since the owner can't pay creditors, the company is shutting down its manufacturing operations in the United Kingdom. The companies offering these customisation had an advantage over Vertu as everything from the designs and type of jewels being used to the smartphone being customised was decided by the customer. They're lined with special kinds of leather, exquisite metals and plenty of jewels to rack up the prices, and earn the title of the most expensive phone brand.

"It is a hard material to work with", Mr Fogg told the BBC.

United Kingdom smartphone firm Vertu, which made luxury handsets worth thousands of pounds, has gone bankrupt after piling up debts of £128 million ($165 million).

Nokia had founded Vertu in 1998 and then it was acquired by EQT VI, an equity group in 2012.