Audi Open to Others Joining Bid for Nokia Maps

Audi Open to Others Joining Bid for Nokia MapsAudi Open to Others Joining Bid for Nokia Maps

Audi could imagine more bidders for Nokia's HERE maps business, the automaker's research and development chief, Ulrich Hackenberg, said to Bloomberg on Saturday.

"It's important to ensure free availability of the data," Hackenberg said on the sidelines of Audi's shareholder meeting in Neckarsulm, Germany on Friday. "Data management will play an important role in the future," and geographical data is particularly interesting for carmakers, he said.

Audi is working together with BMW and Daimler on an approach for the mapping business, people familiar with the matter have said. HERE has drawn interest from a range of companies and buyout firms as a bidding war for the unit intensifies, according to people with knowledge of the matter.

Uber Technologies is teaming up with Baidu Technologies and Apax Partners to pursue the unit, which may fetch as much as $4 billion, according to the people. Another group comprising China's Tencent Holdings Ltd., NavInfo Co. and Swedish buyout firm EQT Partners AB is also said to be bidding.