Nokia / Loudeye

Nokia said it has agreed to buy U.S.-based digital music distributor Loudeye Corp. for $60 million as the world's largest handset maker aims for a bigger slice of a potentially lucrative music market.

Nokia said on Tuesday it had offered $4.50 per share in cash to Loudeye shareholders, a premium of more than 150 percent over the shares' closing price on Monday. Shares in Loudeye surged at the start of trade on Tuesday and were up 146 percent at $4.36.

Shares in Nokia were 1 percent higher at 15.29 euros at 1406 GMT outperforming slightly stronger European technology shares.

Nokia has stepped up a gear on the acquisition trail after its new Chief Executive Olli-Pekka Kallasvuo took over in June. It has agreed to spin off its mobile networks infrastructure unit and dropped a planned phone making venture with Sanyo.

Kallasvuo has said Nokia is set to strengthen its multimedia and enterprise units through acquisitions.

(c) Reuters