Audi, BMW and Daimler are close to acquiring the mapping and location unit of Nokia, HERE, two sources familiar with the negotiations told Reuters on Tuesday.

The news agency reports that the premium car manufacturers are prepared to cough up 2.5—3.0 billion euros for the mapping and location unit, which according to financial reports filed by Nokia has a book value of roughly 2 billion euros.

The Wall Street Journal similarly reported that the takeover is edging closer to being finalised.

A formal agreement has yet to be hammered out, however, as the parties continue to wrangle over the transfer of technology patented by Nokia that allows self-driving vehicles to connect to mobile networks. If the intellectual property issues are settled, the takeover could be finalised by the end of the month.

Nokia announced that it is exploring the option of offloading its mapping and location unit in mid-April. Rumours about the possible sale had swirled on the stock market since the latter half of 2013, when Nokia announced the sale of its handset unit to Microsoft.

After finalising the sale in the first half of 2014, the network equipment manufacturer decided that HERE would concentrate on providing mapping and location solutions for the automotive industry instead of consumers.

Nokia established the unit after acquiring NAVTEQ, a Chicago-based provider of navigable maps, for 5.7 billion euros in 2007.

Location data and electronic maps are used increasingly by tablet and smartphone applications as well as on-board computers. The market is currently dominated by Google, which has integrated its mapping and location service into the most popular mobile operating system in the world, Android.

Petri Sajari – HS
Aleksi Teivainen – HT