Rumours about looming TomTom takeover by HERE or Apple
Rumours about a possible takeover of Dutch digital map and navigation specialist, TomTom, by “a number of parties considering a bid” have pushed shares up by 12% on the Amsterdam stock market on Monday.
TMT Finance, specialized in telecom and technology, suggests HERE, owned by Daimler, Audi and BMW or Apple and Californian satellite navigation developer, Trimble, might be among the interested parties.
Valued at 1,5 billion euro
The Dutch company would be valued at 2 to 2,5 billion euro, which would be in line with the price – 2,55 billion euro – Nokia (owned by Microsoft) got from the German car makers for HERE in 2015.
Interest was aroused when TomTom asked Barclays Bank in September to guide the sale of its Telematics division to focus on its Automotive & Enterprise division with high-tech HD maps for the future autonomous car as its spearhead in the future.
Mulling bids for entire company
“According to sources”, TMT Finance writes on its website, “while the Barclays-run sale of the unit remains ongoing – with non-binding offers due mid-November – some parties are mulling bids for the entire Dutch navigation giant and have mandated buy-side banking advisers to assist in moving forward.”
“Parties that could be interested are Audi, Daimler and BMW-backed internet giant and navigation market leader, Here Technologies, and US software company, Trimble, sources noted”, TMT Finance adds.
Apple potential buyer
“Another potential buyer could be Apple. TomTom currently provides data for Apple’s maps app, Cupertino. A change in ownership of TomTom could present a risk for Apple, which could persuade the tech giant to launch an offer for TomTom to stop a rival from snapping it up instead.”
This would be a more realistic scenario than a takeover by HERE, ING Bank analysts, Marc Zwartsenburg and Marc Hesselink, say, as European competition authorities wouldn’t be likely to allow that.
Word’s major digital map makers
TomTom, building on the legacy of former TeleAtlas, and HERE, owning the heritage of Navteq, are both headquartered in the Netherlands and are the world’s major digital map makers besides tech giant, Google.
TomTom, whose success was based on the sales of its popular stand-alone GPS navigation devices in the last decades, saw its market position weaken as its other pillar, build-in navigation software for the automotive sector is under attack of Google with its Android operating system and its Waze traffic information app.
Losing the dashboard battle
“We want a clear focus”, TomTom CEO, Harold Goddijn, said defending the sales of one of his most profitable branches. “Telematics is a very solid business, but it has a different profile than the rest of TomTom, making it difficult for the rest of the world to clearly situate the company.”
Owing 44% of shares, the Goddijn family holds the keys to allow a complete takeover, but they refrain from commenting, so far.