Nokia has confirmed it is selling its mapping business, HERE, to a consortium made up of Audi, BMW and Daimler for €2.8 billion (approx £2billion).
The transaction includes around €300 million of liabilities, meaning Nokia will net around €2.5 billion.
In April 2015, Nokia announced a review of strategic options for HERE in light of its proposed combination with Alcatel-Lucent. The announcement of this sale to the Consortium concludes that strategic review process.
Rajeev Suri, President and Chief Executive Officer of Nokia, said: “With this step we complete the latest stage of Nokia’s transformation. We integrated the former Nokia Siemens Networks, divested our Devices & Services business, and have now reached agreement on a transaction for HERE that we believe is the best path forward for our shareholders, as well as the customers and employees of HERE. Going forward, we will focus on our planned combination with Alcatel-Lucent. Once that is complete, Nokia will be a renewed company, with a world-leading network technology and services business, as well as the licensing and innovation engine of Nokia Technologies.”
Nokia’s statement says that HERE is developing a location cloud that harnesses the power of data generated by vehicles, devices and infrastructure to deliver real-time, predictive and personalized location services. In the automotive industry, where it serves most of the world’s leading automakers, its focus is on developing precise and accurate mapping as well as services that will enable an entirely new class of driver experiences, including highly automated driving. The company also serves the world’s leading enterprises and Internet players, including Microsoft, Samsung and SAP, and offers highly rated apps to consumers using Android, iOS and Windows Phone.
“I believe today’s announcement is a very good outcome for HERE, its customers and employees. The new ownership structure of HERE will allow us to accelerate our strategy, further scale our business and fulfill our intent to become the leading location cloud company across industries,” said HERE President Sean Fernback.
“Our environment is constantly changing. That’s why the information in digital maps has to be continually updated so that maximum utility can be offered,” stated Rupert Stadler,Chairman of the Board of Management of AUDI AG. The high-precision cameras and sensors installed in modern cars are the digital eyes for updating mobility data and maps; in this way, information such as speed limits or critical driving situations are already recognized today. All data gained will be processed in compliance with strict data-protection rules.
“HERE will play a key role in the digital revolution of mobility, combining high definition maps and data from vehicles to make travel safer and easier for everyone,” explained Harald Krüger, Chairman of the Board of Management of BMW AG.
“High-precision digital maps are a crucial component of the mobility of the future. With the joint acquisition of HERE, we want to secure the independence of this central service for all vehicle manufacturers, suppliers and customers in other industries,” stated Dieter Zetsche, Chairman of the Board of Management of Daimler AG.
The new owners say the management of HERE will continue to be independent – with the goal of moving the HERE business case forward as a platform, open to all customers. The consortium says it will not interfere into operational business.