Nokia has today announced that it has sold its HERE maps units to a consortium of three German carmakers that include Audi, BMW and Daimler (Mercedes’ parent company). This deal does not come as a surprise as Nokia has been rumored to be looking for a buyer to take HERE maps which has been very successful for the company ever since it came out.
The deal is worth slightly over $3 billion and this value includes the enterprise value of HERE maps and all its liabilities. This deal will close in the first quarter of 2016 and will allow Nokia to focus on other businesses. For those who do not know, Nokia remained with the mapping business and a few other units after its mobile division was acquired by Microsoft sometime back.
Nokia will now focus more on network-technology with HERE maps out of the way. In a statement, 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.”
As for the three automakers, they plan to use HERE maps services in its cars as we move towards self-driving cars. In a statement, the three said,
“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. On the basis of the shared raw data, all automobile manufacturers can offer their customers differentiated and brand-specific services.”
HERE maps will still be available for mobile users as that it where it started from. HERE maps is particularly huge in the Windows platform as it comes as the default mapping service for all Windows phone devices. The sale of this unit will allow it to scale further beyond this. In a statement, HERE President Sean Fernback said,
“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.”