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Nokia, after much speculation and bidding, has announced that it has agreed to sell its HERE digital mapping and location service business to an automotive industry consortium at an enterprise value of €2.8 billion (US$3.07-billion).
The automotive consortium comprises of AUDI AG, BMW Group and Daimler AG.
Rajeev Suri, President and Chief Executive Officer of Nokia, said: “With this step we complete the latest stage of Nokia’s transformation. We will focus on our planned combination with Alcatel-Lucent”.
Suri went on to reveal Nokia’s focus moving forward. He stated that the company will after the deal is completed focus on being “a world-leading network technology and services business, as well as the licensing and innovation engine of Nokia Technologies”
Other companies that had put in a bid for Here were Uber and Baidu. The likes of Amazon, Alibaba, Facebook and Apple were also rumoured to have shown interest.
The BMW Group said in a press release “HERE is laying the foundations for the next generation of mobility and location based services. For the automotive industry this is the basis for new assistance systems and ultimately fully autonomous driving. Extremely precise digital maps will be used in combination with real-time vehicle data in order to increase road safety and to facilitate innovative new products and services.”
Harald Krüger, Chairman of the Board of Management of BMW AG, explained why Here will be beneficial to the consortium “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,”
“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.
Nokia confirmed that the deal will close in the first quarter of next year and it will then hand the business over to AUDI AG, BMW Group and Daimler AG (Mercedes).
Though there are not a lot of details about the deal, BMW and Here have made it clear that Here will the company will continue to operate separately. The BMW Group stressed that Here will continue to cement its position as an independent provide of maps and location based services, and will under its new owners continue to expand its product offering and continue to be available to all customers across industries.
“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 will not interfere into operational business” said the consortium.