Vertu sells some the world’s most expensive phones, handmade with precious gems and metals. The brand is popular in Asia and the Middle East.
The sale of Vertu will give Nokia a much-needed cash injection in the same month its credit rating was cut to junk status by Standard & Poor’s.
Private equity group Permira has been cited by the Financial Times as the company looking to acquire the brand, for about £162m.
Nokia is bidding on its Lumia range of smartphones, first launched last year, to help it return to profit and better compete with its rivals. Samsung overtook Nokia to become the world’s largest phone maker last quarter, helped by its high end range of Galaxy smartphones.
The Lumia range is being supported with increased investment in marketing and innovation as Nokia looks to broaden its appeal to new audience segments and emerging markets.