Carmakers Closing In on Nokia HERE – Report

Nokia has reportedly gotten a lot of interest in its up-for-sale HERE maps division, and it's looking increasingly likely a consortium of car makers will soon make an official offer.

According to a detailed report on Reuters, German automakers Mercedes, Audi and BMW have joined forces with private equity firm General Atlantic to make an offer on Nokia Networks 's HERE business unit, which went on the block when Nokia announced last month that it would acquire Alcatel-Lucent (NYSE: ALU). (See Nokia Puts HERE Up for Sale and Nokia Makes €15.6B Bid for Alcatel-Lucent.)

The group isn't the only one interested in HERE, however. Social network giant Facebook , ride service Uber, in partnership with Chinese search engine Baidu and Apax Partners, as well as Tencent Holdings with NavInfo Co. and EQT Partners AB, have all also been named as potential acquirers. (See Eurobites: Uber Bids $3B for Nokia's HERE and Eurobites: Nokia's HERE Locates Potential Buyers.)

For more on developments in the mobile sector, peruse the dedicated mobile content page here on Light Reading.

Each of the German carmakers is apparently prepared to contribute up to €700 million ($780 million) to close the deal, said to be worth between $2-to-$4 billion.

If the cash doesn't do the trick, sources suggest to Reuters that the threat of not doing business with HERE, which counts on the carmakers to embed its mapping software, might convince Nokia to take the offer.

Reuters's sources also suggest that PE firm General Atlantic would control up to 30% of HERE, and that the carmakers are open to bringing on other financial players to support the deal, provided they get overall control of the map assets. Reuters said the process could go public within days.

— Sarah Thomas, Circle me on Google+ Follow me on TwitterVisit my LinkedIn profile, Editorial Operations Director, Light Reading

DHagar 5/26/2015 | 2:39:20 PM
Re: Closing in On HERE danielcawrey, great points.  My thinking is that a "connected communications system" may be highly competitive.  I like your points about the dashboard as well - then it truly becomes an integrated communication system (including mapping).  Sounds like stock to own!
Kruz 5/25/2015 | 5:51:32 PM
Re: Closing in On HERE I have a been (and still am) a huge fan of the offline capable Here Maps from the days I worked for Nokia. It was given the needed attention to evolve into a succesfull entity with the big corporation and it just seems, as recently announced, that Nokia might just keep Here maps for now.
danielcawrey 5/23/2015 | 1:37:51 PM
Re: Closing in On HERE Mapping is big business, and the carmakers will never be able to control Apple or Google Maps. I think this is smart – redudant in some ways because of what other tech companies have done, but likely necessary. I think it's compelling to move maps from the smartphone to the dashboard. 
DHagar 5/21/2015 | 4:58:34 PM
Re: Closing in On HERE Sarah, sounds like a smart move on the part of the carmakers.  It looks like they have put together a great deal and a great value proposition.   Interestsing model with the collaboration.   Leave it to the Germans - and I believe they will make it work!

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