Garmin Withdraws Tele Atlas Bid, Extends Navteq Agreement

Nokia’s new A-GPS-assisted N82 phone

Thwarted in its latter-day attempt to buy digital mapmaker Tele Atlas out from under TomTom, GPS manufacturer Garmin International has signed an long-term deal with rival map provider Navteq.

Under the agreement announced today (November 16) Garmin will extend its current six-year agreement with Chicago, Illinois–based NAVTEQ to access to map data through 2015 with an option to continue through 2019.

Thwarted in its latter-day attempt to buy digital mapmaker Tele Atlas out from under TomTom, GPS manufacturer Garmin International has signed an long-term deal with rival map provider Navteq.

Under the agreement announced today (November 16) Garmin will extend its current six-year agreement with Chicago, Illinois–based NAVTEQ to access to map data through 2015 with an option to continue through 2019.

Navteq, the other leading global producer of navigable maps used in GNSS-aided devices, is also in the process of being acquired — through an $8.1 billion offer from Nokia, Finland’s giant mobile phone manufacturer.

Nokia announced a new assisted-GPS-capable phone, the N82, this week, reportedly will have sold more than 160 million GPS-aided phones by the end of 2007, and will introduce GPS features on many new models next year.

Amsterdam-based TomTom launched its bid for The Netherlands’ Tele Atlas last summer with an offer to buy shares that would have produced a total value of $2.8 billion for the purchase. Nokia’s subsequent bid for Navteq indicated that Tom Tom’s initial offer for Tele Atlas probably was undervalued.

A few weeks later, Garmin made a $3.3 billion offer for Tele Atlas, to which TomTom responded with a €30 ($43.91) per share bid with an estimated value of more than $4.3 billion. Last week, Tele Atlas’ management and supervisory boards recommended that the company’s shareholders accept the revised bid from TomTom.

© Copyright Gibbons Media & Research LLC, 2007