Nokia sells HERE mapping service for £1.9 bn to Audi, BMW and Daimler

Nokia says its brand will be "renewed" by purchase

Nokia has agreed to sell its HERE digital mapping business to BMW, Audi and Daimler for approximately 2.8 billion (1.9 billion).

The Finnish former phone maker today confirmed the German car manufacturers have clubbed together to buy its geomapping division, which provides services such as satellite navigation as well as technology for self-driving and semi-autonomous cars.

The car manufacturers were reportedly spurred into action by fears the technology may fall into the hands of Uber, which reportedly bid $3 billion (1.9 billion) for it in May, as well as interest from Google or Apple.

Although HERE has been valued at 2.8 billion, Nokia expects to recieve a little over 2.5 billion, due to the purchasers being compensated for "certain defined liabilities" within the asset. 

This deal's completion could mean the car makers will invite the likes of Renault, Ford, Toyota, Peugot Citroen and Fiat Chrysler to invest in the system as well.

"I believe today's announcement is a very good outcome for HERE, its customers and employees", said HERE president Sean Fernback. "The new ownership structure of HERE will allow us to accelerate our strategy, further scale our business and fulfill our intent to become the leading location cloud company across industries".

Nokia mooted the idea of selling HERE in April following its 15.6 billion acquisition of Alcatel-Lucent, as well as the sale of its hardware arm to Microsoft last year.

"With this step we complete the latest stage of Nokia's transformation", Nokia president and CEO Rajeev Suri said in a statement issued today.

"Going forward, we will focus on our planned combination with Alcatel-Lucent. 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."

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