Nokia is selling its mapping service “Here” for 2.8 billion euros ($3.07 billion) to a consortium of German car makers, including BMW, Audi and Daimler, the company announced Monday. The sale is expected to be concluded in the first quarter of 2016.
Announcing the sale, the Finnish telecom major said in a statement that the deal will bring in a net amount of 2.5 billion euros. The three automobile companies said in a separate statement that they will each hold an equal stake in Here, which was bought by Nokia from Chicago-based Navteq for $8.1 billion in 2008.
“With this step we complete the latest stage of Nokia's transformation,” Rajeev Suri, president and CEO of Nokia, said in a statement, adding that the move “is the best path forward for our shareholders, as well as the customers and employees of HERE.”
Berlin-based “Here” -- a direct competitor to Google Maps -- is a provider of mapping services with data on nearly 200 countries. Other than the automotive industry, “Here” also serves large technology enterprises and Internet companies, including Microsoft, Samsung and SAP, according to Nokia.
The future of “Here” was in limbo since Microsoft bought Nokia’s devices and services business for $7.2 billion last year. In April, Nokia announced that it was reviewing “strategic options” for “Here.”
“The acquisition is intended to secure the long-term availability of Here's products and services as an open, independent and value-creating platform for cloud-based maps and other mobility services accessible to all customers from the automotive industry and other sectors,” BMW, Audi and Daimler said, in a joint statement, according to the Wall Street Journal.
The New York Times reported in May that Uber, best known for its ride-sharing mobile application, had made a $3 billion offer to buy Nokia’s “Here.”
Nokia is also expected to complete a $16.6 billion deal to buy Alcatel-Lucent by the first half of next year.