Nokia Oyj, the globally renowned Finnish maker of telecommunications equipment, is said to favor a group of German automakers in its sale of the maps business division, even as there are some price differences, said sources.
The people that have knowledge of the proceeds declined to reveal their identity as the decision is not yet public and added that Nokia is now trying to make the consortium – made of Audi, BMW and Daimler – to offer more money, as the Finnish company continues to look at the bids from other interested parties. The sources said the maps business – called HERE – would see Nokia trying to snatch as much as $4 billion during the sale, but the carmakers are still reluctant to offer that much – even as they are crucial clients of the technology and they were first to approach the Finns for a purchase. The final round of bidding is due this week, but no decision has been made yet and Nokia might swing in favor for an outsider for the mapping unit – which delivers data for around 80 percent of today’s cars equipped with standard infotainment navigation systems in Europe and North America.
The sources also pointed out that certain private-equity bidders, including Apax Partners, have decided to back out of the battle because they see the automakers as the primary contenders. China’s Baidu Inc., which initially partnered with Apax and Uber Technologies could swing and nail a deal with the automakers, said one of the sources. Baidu, China’s biggest search engine is trying to gain access to Here to expand its own mapping services outside and inside of China.