Nokiar is reportedly considering a sale of its prized navigation business HERE Maps, in a bid to fight its financial troubles. According to a new report from Bloomberg, Nokia is considering the sale in a bid to boost growth at its Nokia Networks business and/or reduce debt to improve its credit rating.
The publication quoted sources familiar with the matter who suggest that Nokia is consulting with financial advisors to obtain the best possible deal for HERE, which - according to the company's own financial reports - is valued at around €2.1 billion. It's unknown exactly who Nokia has approached to sell HERE to but Bloomberg's sources cite Uber Technologies as one of the possible suitors. Others include unnamed private-equity firms and German car makers; although no names have been mentioned, its likely that luxury car makers BMW, Mercedes or Audi could find benefit from acquiring HERE. Bids for the location suite could be made as soon as later this month.
The base for HERE Maps came from Nokia's acquisition of Navteq Corp back in 2008 for $8.1 billion and Nokia's own valuation suggests that the company will have lost a significant amount of money since the purchase. Last month Nokia projected rising sales for the division and sources close to the deal said that the Finnish company may decide against a sale if it can't get a fair price.
Nokia has previously been rumoured to be interested in acquiring French rival Alcatel-Lucent SA's wireless business and the sale of HERE could allow this to go ahead. Alternatively, Nokia CEO Rajeev Suri has been attempting to reduce the company's debt and improve its debt rating from junk and the sale of HERE could allow this to happen.
Nokia's shares rose 5.6 percent to €7.58 in Helsinki - its highest closing figure since 2011 - valuing the whole of Nokia at around €28 billion while shares in Alcatel closed up 4.8 percent at €3.83 valuing the company at around €10.8 billion.