TomTom Gains with Tele Atlas; Garmin Signs with Navteq - Inside GNSS

TomTom Gains with Tele Atlas; Garmin Signs with Navteq

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

Under the agreement announced 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 a long-term deal with rival map provider Navteq.

Under the agreement announced 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 during the 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. On November 8, Tele Atlas’ management and supervisory boards recommended that the company’s shareholders accept the revised bid from TomTom.

TomTom opened its cash offer period for purchase of Tele Atlas shares on November 19, with a scheduled close date of December 18.

The high-stakes bidding war for the world’s two leading digital mapmakers appears to have encouraged another Netherlands-based digital mapping company to review its opportunities.

AND International Publishers N.V., based in Rotterdam, has retained a financial advisor to assist in evaluating potential strategic alternatives for the company.

“We believe that AND has compelling technology and mapping capabilities and therefore is strongly positioned for future growth,” AND’s CEO Maarten Oldenhof, said in announcing the company’s move to retain ThinkEquity Partners of San Francisco, California, to advise them. “Given the recent strategic activity in the market, we believe that AND is in a unique position to further enhance and accelerate value creation.”

This year AND has announced navigable digital maps covering Germany, Belgium, The Netherlands, Luxembourg, Bulgaria, Turkey, and other countries.

Copyright © 2007 Gibbons Media & Research LLC, all rights reserved.