Acquisition would add a raft of value-adding software solutions to Finnish kit maker’s portfolio.

Nokia on Thursday made a €347 million bid for Comptel, a deal it says will help it to build a standalone software business at scale.

Finland-based Comptel develops mediation, orchestration and data analytics software designed to help operators tailor services, launch them quicker, and build stronger relationships with customers. In the nine months to September 2016, Comptel generated revenue of €70.1 million, and an operating profit of €5.97 million.

Nokia said the addition of Comptel will enable it to close the between service assurance and fulfilment, and give it the ability to deliver end-to-end orchestration of complex network functions virtualisation (NFV) and software-defined networking (SDN) deployments.

"Our customers are changing the way they build and operate their networks. They are turning to software to provide more intelligence, automate more of their operations, and realise the efficiency gains that virtualisation promises," said Bhaskar Gorti, president of Nokia’s applications and analytics business group, in a statement.

"We want to help them by offering one of the industry’s broadest and most advanced portfolios. Comptel helps us do that," he said.

For Comptel, becoming part of Nokia gives it faster access to the U.S. market, a larger addressable customer base, plus the resources that come with being a part of a major tier one vendor.

Nokia has made a cash tender offer of €3.04 for all issued and outstanding Comptel shares; the bid represents a 28.8% premium on Comptel’s closing share price on Wednesday.

The offer period will begin on 27 February and will run for approximately four weeks. Nokia needs 90% of Comptel’s shares to be tendered in order for the takeover to proceed.

The offer has been unanimously recommended by Comptel’s board. Stakeholders representing 48.3% of Comptel’s shares have already pledged to accept Nokia’s offer.

The deal is subject to regulatory approval, and is expected to close during the second quarter. Upon completion, Comptel will remain a separate legal entity, wholly-owned by Nokia.