Digital maps company HERE, controlled by German carmakers BMW, Daimler and Volkswagen (VOWG_p.DE), aims to find a new investor by the end of the year, HERE chief Edzard Overbeek told a German newspaper.
“The carmakers want to open the circle of shareholders. We are talking to dozens of parties interested in taking a stake,” daily Handelsblatt quoted Overbeek as saying in an interview published on Tuesday.
Germany’s luxury automotive groups including Daimler’s Mercedes-Benz, Volkswagen’s Audi division and BMW bought HERE for 2.5 billion euros ($2.8 billion) from Nokia last year to create an alternative digital mapping business to Google.
Daimler confirmed in April it was in talks with Amazon.com and Microsoft about taking a minority stake in HERE. Auto supplier Bosch [ROBG.UL] has also said it was in talks with HERE.
“It is important to find the right mixture of owners… Partners from the IT sector, from logistics or retail are possible,” Overbeek said, according to the newspaper, without naming any possible investors.
Intelligent mapping systems supply information to control self-driving cars, which are equipped with street-scanning sensors to measure traffic and road conditions. This location data can in turn be shared with other map users.