(Adds Nokia and analyst comment, background, shares)
May 8 (Reuters) – Taxi service Uber has submitted a $3
billion bid for Nokia Oyj’s map business HERE, the
New York Times reported citing people with knowledge of the
Finland’s Nokia said last month it had started a strategic
review of HERE, a competitor to Google Maps, after
announcing a planned takeover of network equipment rival
Uber is competing against a consortium of automakers,
including BMW, Audi and Mercedes-Benz, the
newspaper said, citing people with knowledge of the offer.
The German automakers are teaming up with the Chinese search
engine Baidu on the offer, while a private equity firm has
submitted a separate bid, the report said, adding Nokia, whose
shares rose 4.6 percent by 0707 GMT, is expected to announce the
sale of HERE by the end of May.
Uber and Nokia declined comment.
Nokia Chairman Risto Siilasmaa earlier this week told the
company’s annual shareholders’ meeting there was no
predetermined outcome of the review, adding the company was not
a forced seller.
“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,” he said.
The book value of the unit is about 2 billion euros ($2.2
billion), but Inderes Equity Research has valued it at between
4.4 billion euros and 6.9 billion, based on a sum-of-the-parts
“We consider a 3 billion dollar bid as insufficient … It
would not take into account HERE’s market position, growth
opportunities, technologies and profit growth potential,”
Inderes, which has a “reduce” rating on Nokia, said in a note to
“With the current growth pace brought by the car industry,
we estimate that HERE will make more than 400 million euros of
annual operating profit after two to three years.”
HERE’s sales in the first quarter rose 25 percent from a
year ago to 261 million euros and Nokia raised the full-year
profitability outlook of the unit to an operating margin range
of 9 to 12 percent from an earlier 7 to 12 percent.
($1 = 0.8930 euros)
(Reporting by Subrat Patnaik in Bengaluru and Jussi Rosendahl
in Helsinki; Editing by Sriraj Kalluvila and David Holmes)