Economy, Auto

Nokia Maps Near Auto Deal

Nokia Maps Near Auto Deal
Nokia Maps Near Auto Deal

Nokia is nearing an agreement to sell its maps business to BMW Group, Audi and Mercedes-Benz, according to people familiar with the matter.

An agreement could be reached as early as next week, with an announcement targeted for around July 31, said the people, who asked not to be named because the negotiations are private.

Talks could still fall apart as the carmaker consortium hammers out final details such as intellectual property rights with Nokia, the people said. Nokia has sought as much as $4 billion for the unit, called HERE, people familiar with the matter have said.

The carmakers may pay Nokia about € 2.5 billion ($2.7 billion) for the unit, called HERE, Manager Magazin reported via Auto News Europe.

A joint purchase would be an unusual move for the German companies, which are battling for the lead in the global luxury-car market. The deal would give them access to the detailed maps that smart vehicles of the future will require.

Representatives for the carmakers and a spokesman for Nokia declined to comment.

The carmakers first approached Nokia about a sale, and as a key source of HERE's revenue, they've had the upper hand in the competition to acquire the business. HERE supplies maps data to about 80 percent of cars with in-dash navigation systems in North America and Europe.