Nokia says it has completed the final step in its restructuring plan with the sale of its HERE digital mapping division. The former smartphone giant announced on Monday that HERE is being acquired by a group of German automakers for around $3 billion. The automaker consortium includes AUDI AG, the BMW Group and Daimler AG.
The HERE consortium notes the acquisition will secure the long-term availability of HERE’s products and services as an open, independent platform for cloud-based maps and other mobility services that will be available to all customers in automotive industry and other sectors. Each of the three partners has an equal stake in HERE, and all have committed to not seek a majority interest.
Given customary regulatory approvals, the acquisition is expected to be finalized by March 2016.
Statement from Nokia and HERE execs
“The new ownership structure of HERE will allow us to accelerate our strategy, further scale our business and fulfil our intent to become the leading location cloud company across industries,” HERE president Sean Fernback said in a statement.
“With this step we complete the latest stage of Nokia’s transformation,” noted Rajeev Suri, the CEO of Nokia.
“Going forward, we will focus on our planned combination with Alcatel-Lucent,” he continued. “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.”
HERE is developing “location intelligence”
Digital maps are much more than just paper maps that can be viewed on a screen. Smart devices today know where they are due to GPS, and they can give you directions to anywhere you want to go, as well as analyze traffic or commerce data to provide data to businesses or entrepreneurs about where to locate their facilities. Here calls its evolving digital mapping technology “location intelligence.”
In its blog, the firm notes: “Location data is critical for a broad range of products and services and we believe that simultaneously serving these different segments with maps will result in a virtuous cycle. By example, automotive customers will benefit from our strong consumer offering since they will be able to extend their product and service offerings beyond the car. Conversely, our strong presence in the majority of connected vehicles on the road will enable HERE to develop better services for consumer and enterprise customers. The more places we appear, the better everything gets for everyone.”