Nokia seeks to sell maps business valued at $2.1 bn

Nokia is planning to sell its maps business known as HERE, Bloomberg yesterday reported, citing people familiar with the matter.

Nokia has approached potential buyers, including Uber Technologies, the mobile car-booking application, and private-equity firms, the report said.

A group of German carmakers has also shown interest, the report added, and bids for the unit are expected as soon as this month.

HERE is valued at about €2 billion ($2.1 billion), according to Nokia's financial reports, which is far lower than the $8.1 billion it spent on buying Chicago-based map provider Navteq Corp in 2007.

HERE (formerly Ovi Maps), is a global leader in the mapping and location intelligence business offering maps for 196 countries, voice guided navigation in 97 countries in more than 50 languages and live traffic information for 41 countries.

Its maps are found in four out of five cars in North America and Europe with integrated in-dash navigation.

In 2013, more than 10 million new cars were sold with HERE maps on board. It also powers mobile devices, connected devices and enterprise solutions.

HERE had net sales of €970 million last year and an operating profit of €31 million.

Espoo, Finland-based sold its mobile handset unit to Microsoft for $7.1 billion in 2013. (See: Microsoft to acquire Nokia's handset business for $7.1 bn)

It is now left with networks division, maps business, and licensing of patents business.