Microsoft's Nokia buyout deal approved

An overwhelming majority of shareholders agreed to the sale at a meeting in Helsinki.

An overwhelming majority of shareholders agreed to the sale of the handset business at a meeting in Helsinki. Picture: Nokia.com.

HELSINKI - Nokia shareholders approved the sale of the company's mobile phone business to Microsoft, deciding the deal's financial benefits outweighed objections by a minority of investors upset by the sale of a Finnish national asset.

An overwhelming majority of shareholders at a meeting in Helsinki on Tuesday supported the deal, according to a final tally of votes. The sale is expected to close in the first quarter of next year after regulatory clearance.

Nokia in September agreed to sell its devices and services business and license its patents to Microsoft for 5.44 billion euros ($7.4 billion) after failing to recover from a late start in smartphones.