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Nokia plans to sell HERE maps

A year after selling its mobile phone division to Microsoft, Nokia is now planning to sell its map division – Here Maps, says a report. The move will make Nokia focus more on the wireless-network unit and to improve its debt rating. The report suggests that Nokia is looking for companies willing to buy 'Here' and the potential buyers in the run include companies such as Uber Technologies – which can use the mapping service to cater to the ever-expanding, taxi service providers.

Another potential buyer that has shown interest in the business is a group of German carmakers. According to Nokia's financial reports, the HERE maps business is valued around $2 billion euros ($2.1 billion). But considering the price at which map provider Navteq Corp was acquired in 2008 ($8.1 billion), HERE seems to have witnessed a major drop in value.

The Finnish company is planning to invest the proceeds of the sales into building Nokia's network business, which also includes the prolonged takeover of a part of French rival Alcatel-Lucent SA, according to Sebastien Sztabowicz, an analyst at Kepler Cheuvreux in Paris. "We believe a sale of the mapping business could give further credibility to the scenario of an offer on Alcatel-Lucent's wireless access business," Sztabowicz reportedly wrote in a note to clients.

Source: Bloomberg