It is being reported that Nokia is to sell the high-end mobile phone company Vertu for €200 million (approximately £162 million). Private equity group Permira is believed to be the interested buyer.

Vertu is a UK company that specialises in mobile devices for the rich and famous, with its Constellation Symbian handsets costing anywhere from £4,000 a phone to £10,000. There are some daubed in gold and others in alligator skin, and the company is renowned for having major celebrities at its worldwide launch events.

Nokia is struggling, however, posting a $1.2 billion (approximately £737 million) loss in the first quarter of this year, so funds from a sale of a prized asset would be much welcome as the company strives to dominate the Windows Phone market.

It has been rumoured that Nokia has been looking for a buyer for Vertu since December, with Northern European private equity group, EQT, also believed to be interested, but Permira is the firm favourite to seal the deal.