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HMD Global: Navigating Acquisitions Overnight

Providing flexibility by quickly and compliantly onboarding employees.

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In 2016, Microsoft sold its feature phones-related assets to HMD Global Oy and its partner, a large multinational electronics contract manufacturing company. In 2016, HMD also signed a strategic licensing agreement with Nokia Technologies, the advanced technology and licensing unit of Nokia Corporation, giving HMD sole use of the Nokia brand on mobile phones and tablets worldwide for the next decade. Therefore, HMD became the new home for Nokia-branded devices, bringing Nokia phones back to the market through its distribution networks.

HMD Global's challenge

Following their acquisition of feature phones-related assets from Microsoft, HMD and its partner became responsible for hundreds of employees in over 50 countries overnight. Before the acquisition could be finalized, the companies needed to compliantly onboard all employees in their countries of operation. Some employees were located in countries where the companies already had a legal presence, allowing for simple onboarding. However, hundreds of others were operating in countries where neither company had existing entities. The companies were committed to setting up entities in each of the countries where the new employees were operating, but they could not afford to wait until the entities were established to begin the onboarding process. Additionally, they were looking for a solution that would provide a seamless transition for the employees once the foreign entities were established. To complete the transaction and onboard their new global team members, they needed an efficient, compliant, and temporary solution—fast.

Velocity Global’s solution

After looking over their options, the companies discovered Velocity Global and its global Employer of Record (EOR) solution. This employment method enabled them to quickly and compliantly onboard the employees in the countries where they did not have existing entities. The internal teams of both HMD and its partner were then able to focus their efforts on establishing foreign entities in those markets on their own timeline. Velocity Global’s extensive in-country knowledge and expertise also gave both companies confidence that their global employees would be in compliance with local employment regulations in each country.

The Velocity Global team is always there to answer any questions that my employees or I have, and guide us through the next steps as we navigate this growth.
Tiina Topal
VP of Human Resources, HMD Global

Shared success

Through Velocity Global and its global EOR solution, HMD and its partner were able to hire hundreds of employees in countries where they did not have existing entities in under two weeks, thus successfully completing the acquisition with Microsoft. Both companies have relied on Velocity Global’s premium, end-to-end service to stay compliant with local regulations and overcome even the most complex international challenges. Since Velocity Global does not require companies to sign long-term contracts, they maintained the freedom to easily transition their employees off the global EOR model to their own entities, once they are fully established. By partnering with Velocity Global, the companies have maintained compliance as they navigate the next steps in their international expansion process. The companies will continue to rely on Velocity Global’s ongoing support and unmatched expertise to help guide them as their Nokia phones operations mature in international markets.

How HMD Global onboarded employees in over 50 countries quickly

HMD Global’s challenge
  • To complete one of the most noteworthy M&As in 2016, HMD Global and its partner needed to onboard hundreds of employees across 50 countries. Since over half of those employees were located in countries where neither company had existing entities, they required a solution that enabled quick and compliant employee onboarding to complete the transaction.
Velocity Global’s solution
  • Velocity Global’s comprehensive global Employer of Record (EOR) solution allowed both companies to complete the acquisition and legally onboard all employees. This took care of the employment needs and requirements necessary to maintain the employees, enabling the executive teams to focus on setting up entities in each of the countries in which their new employees were located.
Shared success
  • With Velocity Global’s help, the companies successfully completed the acquisition with Microsoft and compliantly hired hundreds of employees in under two weeks. As the companies establish their own entities, they can rely on Velocity Global to seamlessly transition employees off the global EOR model to the entities established by HMD and its partner.
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