Nokia is to sell its HERE digital mapping service to a consortium of German car makers, the company announced on Monday, in a sale that will generate net proceeds of 2.8 billion euros.
The deal will see the world’s three largest luxury car manufacturers BMW, Daimler and Audi each take an equal share of the service, which the companies said will be the basis for self-driving cars.
The sale is due to be completed in the first quarter next year, subject to approval by competition authorities.
The HERE service, which supplies map data for in-car navigation systems, is based in large part on technology Nokia acquired when it bought the mapping company Navteq in 2007 for 5.4 billion euros.
The move marks an unprecedented cooperation between the three motoring industry giants, at a time when Google is developing self-driving technology with a view to entering the auto sector.
Nokia’s CEO Rajeev Suri described the sale as the best possible option for shareholders, as well as the customers and employees of HERE.
”Going forward we can focus on our planned combination with Alcatel-Lucent,” he said, referring to Nokia’s acquisition of its French competitor rival earlier this year.
The sale will leave Nokia with two operating divisions – its wireless network services arm Nokia Networks, and Nokia Technologies, its technological development and licencing division.