Former smartphone maker Nokia is reportedly considering the sale of its mapping business to boost its credit rating. Nokia still operates one of the most comprehensive mapping services in the world through HERE maps, which provides data to automobile satnav makers and other technology companies like Microsoft and Yahoo.
The report from Bloomberg indicates that the Finnish firm wants to focus on its wireless-network unit, and the mapping division would be the first thing to go. Potential buyers include Uber Technologies, and a group of German car makers. Bids for the mapping unit are expected to appear later this month, although there is the possibility that Nokia will end up not selling the division if the bids are not what it deems to be sufficient.
Nokia CEO Rajeev Suri is hoping to use the sale of HERE to increase the company’s credit rating from its current junk status. An analyst believes that the sale of HERE could be used to finance an acquisition of part of French rival Alcatel-Lucent. A move that would further expand Nokia’s networks capability.
Nokia is not exactly hurting for cash, as the company reported fourth-quarter net income of 443 million euros (about RM 1.74 billion), and sales that rose 9.4 percent to 3.8 billion euros (about RM 32 billion). It is still interesting to see Nokia slowly shift its focus to being a network provider rather than anything else.