Nokia Could Sell HERE Maps Division To Focus On Networks

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Uber, German car firms could be interested in one of Nokia’s three remaining businesses

Nokia could be streamlined even further with reports suggesting the Finnish firm is keen to sell its HERE maps business in order to focus on the networking division that accounts for 90 percent of the company’s revenue.

Bloomberg claims Nokia has approached potential buyers, including Uber, private equity firms and German carmakers and bids could be made as early as this month.

HERE could attract a price of €2bn (£1.44bn), significantlsy less than the $8.1bn (£5.54bn) forked out by Nokia to acquire Navteq in 2008, but sale plans could be abandoned if a sufficient bid is not made.

Right HERE, right now

Nokia Maps Here iOSNokia’s mapping customers include Amazon, Microsoft, Yahoo and several sat nav firms, but annual sales of €970m are dwarfed by €1.24bn losses.

The division is one of three retained by Nokia following the £4.6bn sale of its devices and services business last year, alongside its advanced technology research and network arms. Any sale of HERE would allow it to strengthen the latter, possibly through an acquisition of some of Alcatel-Lucent’s assets, and reduce debt.

Nokia had not responded to TechWeekEurope’s request for comment at the time of publication.

The current Nokia has an estimated value of €28 billion (£20.24bn) and supplies networking equipment to mobile operators around the world. It recently secured the largest share by a non-Chinese vendor for the second phase China Telecom’s LTE rollout, having already played a major role in phase 1.

The Espoo-based company is also highly active in 5G research and has achieved wireless data transmission speeds of 2Gbps – raising the possibility of a commercial network launch in time for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics in Japan with partner NTT DoCoMo.

Nokia may not yet be finished with devices either as it has also launched the N1 tablet and could licence the Nokia brand to third party phone manufacturers in the future.

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