In a more recent twist to the reports regarding, Nokia HERE Maps sale, Nokia Chairman Risto Siilasmaa, said there was no predetermined outcome of the review, adding that the firm was not a forced seller.
“This is the right time for the review, not only because of the Alcatel-Lucent deal but also because navigation markets have changed in the last years,” he said in a speech at the company’s annual general meeting. “I’d like to stress that the review will not necessarily lead to selling of HERE. We strongly believe in the possibilities to develop HERE also as part of Nokia. Above all, this is a question of finding the best possibilities for HERE to create value.”
Siilasmaa’s comments come after a report said that Facebook was looking at a possible buy-out of Nokia’s HERE maps. TechCrunch reported that Facebook has already partnered to use HERE maps in its smartphone apps and is testing its location services for apps like Instagram and Messenger on Android.
HERE maps was developed by Navteq and was bought by Nokia in 2008 for $8.1 billion. In April, Nokia had issued a press statement saying that it was considering a possible disinvestment of HERE maps.
The statement had read, ” Nokia today announces that it has initiated a review of strategic options, including a potential divestment, for its HERE business. HERE is a leader in navigation, mapping and location intelligence…The strategic review of HERE is on-going and it may or may not result in any transaction. Any further announcements about HERE will be made as appropriate.”
Facebook isn’t the only company that was rumoured to be interested in the HERE maps acquisition. Wall Street Journal had reported that BMW AG, Audi AG, and Mercedes-Benz (along with China’s Baidu) are looking to buy HERE in a rare joint effort.
The book value of the unit is about 2 billion euros, but Inderes Equity Research has valued it at 4.4 billion to 6.9 billion euros, based on a sum-of-parts calculation.
With Reuters inputs