A new report indicates Nokia would prefer selling its maps business to Audi, BMW or Mercedes-Benz. Sources close to the matter says Nokia is willing to sell its HERE maps service for as much as $4 billion, but the automakers are reluctant at paying this hefty sum. Final offers from the companies will come this week and Nokia could decide to sell the business to some other company.
It should be mentioned HERE supplies maps data for approximately 80% of the cars in Europe and North America sold with a built-in navigation system. Nokia has decided to sell the business because they want to focus more on mobile network equipment, following a decision made back in April to buy Alcatel-Lucent. However, Nokia CEO Rajeev Suri told France’s National Assembly a few days ago that they might not sell HERE after all.
While the $4 billion sum seems huge, let’s not forget that Nokia acquired map provider Navteq for $8.1 billion back in 2008 so in five years the value of the business dropped by about 50%. Recently, a few private-equity bidders such as Apax Partners have decided to retire after hearing that Nokia would prefer selling HERE to a car manufacturer.