Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Nokia Asked to Repay EU60 Million by German State

By Andreas Hippin

March 11 (Bloomberg) -- Nokia Oyj, the world's biggest maker of mobile phones, was asked by the German state of North Rhine- Westphalia to repay almost 60 million euros ($92 million) in state aid for a factory it plans to close.

The state-owned NRW.Bank demanded Nokia return 41 million euros of aid plus interest until March 31 because it didn't create enough jobs in a mobile-phone factory in the city of Bochum, North Rhine-Westphalia's economic ministry said in a statement distributed by fax today.

If Nokia doesn't pay by the end of this month, NRW.Bank will take the company to court, it said. According to the statement, this is the highest repayment demand against a single company in North Rhine-Westphalia.

The Finnish company asked to discuss the repayment demand last week, the ministry said, adding that ``a date for talks will be offered in the coming days.''

Nokia spokesman Arja Suominen didn't immediately return a call from Bloomberg News seeking comment.

Nokia shares fell 1.16 euros, or 5.4 percent, to 20.32 euros as of 11:47 a.m. in Helsinki, valuing the company at 80.9 billion euros. Texas Instruments Inc., the second-biggest maker of chips that run mobile phones, said yesterday demand for chips used in handsets that can download music and access the Internet was lower than it anticipated.

Form : http://www.bloomberg.com/