AUDI AG, the BMW Group and Daimler AG have agreed with Nokia that they will acquire its mapping and location services business HERE for 2.5 billion euros ($2.74 billion). The three partners will each hold an equal stake in HERE; none of them seeks to acquire a majority interest. Subject to the approval of the relevant antitrust authorities, the transaction is expected to close in the first quarter of 2016.
The Finnish network equipment maker said the transaction has an enterprise value of 2.8 billion euros, which includes the assumption of nearly 300 million euros in HERE liabilities.
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 new products and services.
"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.
The Finnish company is shedding the maps business to help it focus on integrating its 15.6 billion-euro purchase of Alcatel Lucent, a deal that will create the world's second largest network equipment maker.