Psion investors agree Symbian sale

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Psion Shareholders voted in favour of the company's sale of a 31 per cent stake in Symbian, the mobile phone technology company, to Nokia for £136m.

Of the votes cast, 67 per cent were in favour while 33 per cent were against the transaction, which has generated strong opposition from some shareholders who believe that the Symbian stake would be worth more if the company were floated.

David Sharman, a private Psion investor who voted against the sale, said: "This is an awful destruction of shareholder value." However, Psion has maintained that the chances of persuading Symbian's other investors, including Nokia, Samsung and Sony Ericsson, to pursue an IPO are extremely unlikely.

Psion said yesterday that it would look at returning some of the proceeds of the stake sale to shareholders after investing further in its ongoing business, Teklogix, a wireless technology business for corporate customers. It will also have to mount an urgent attempt to build bridges between itself and angry shareholders, particularly institutions such as Phoenix Asset Management Partners, which holds 13 per cent of the company.

The sale of the Symbian stake to Nokia is conditional on clearance from competition authorities in Germany and Austria. Finland has already given its clearance. Although Symbian's operating system technology is installed in only about 10 million mobile phones, it is in most of the new, so-called "smart phones".