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Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Nokia's HERE Maps Draws Interest From Uber, Facebook, BMW And Even Apple?

Imagine a product that draws interest from companies like Facebook, Apple, BMW, Amazon, and Uber. Nokia's HERE Maps is doing just that.

According to a German magazine, Manager Magazin, the list of interested buyers for the mapping service is getting longer. Citing people familiar with the matter, Manager Magazin reports even a U.S. private equity firm Hellman & Friedman is interested.

So what does Nokia have to say about all this interest in HERE?

Nokia is seeking more than 3 billion euros ($3.2 billion) from a sale of the unit, as reported by Bloomberg. The book value of the unit is 2 billion euros ($2.15 billion) according to Manager Magazin. Whereas, a brokerage estimate by Inderes Equity Research values HERE at 4.4 billion to 6.9 billion euros.

Nokia Chief Executive Rajeev Suri told a news conference last Friday that if Nokia were to sell its HERE business, they were not being a forced seller. Seems like a lot of money for a mapping service but big companies like Facebook & Apple don't seem to think so.

Why the huge price tag? Detailed location data, which HERE Maps possesses, is worth its weight in gold for automakers looking to develop autonomous cars. The interest in HERE from BMW comes from a consortium of car companies which also includes Audi and Daimler which makes Mercedes-Benz.

In recent years, Nokia has focused on supplying HERE to automakers and aftermarket head unit manufacturers which has been responsible for half of its revenue. HERE Maps are also used by Amazon, Baidu, Microsoft, Samsung, and Yahoo for use in mobile and computer online mapping applications.

News source: Reuters

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