Tuesday, March 11, 2008

North Rhine-Westphalia confirms report demanding 60 mln eur from Nokia UPDATE

FRANKFURT (Thomson Financial) - The German state of North Rhine-Westphalia (NRW) has confirmed a press report saying it is demanding around 60 mln eur worth of subsidies and interest from Nokia in connection with the closure of its Bochum plant, dpa reported.

The state's Economy Ministry said the state-owned NRW.Bank had been asked to claim back the subsidies Nokia had been granted in 1998 and 1999 together with interest 'without delay'.

'The entire amount is therefore nearly 60 mln eur, to be paid by March 31,' it added.

The press report in Handelsblatt also said that the request will be sent to the company, adding that NRW will consider filing a suit against Nokia should it fail to pay the sum by the end of March.

In January, Nokia announced that it will close its Bochum plant this summer, saying it is too expensive to operate there. The bulk of its production is being transferred to a lower-cost Romanian factory, which starts up this quarter. judith.csaba@thomson.com jcs/rfw/cs1/ra

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