Following news that Uber bid as much as $3 billion to acquire Nokia’s mapping unit HERE, it is now being reported that the taxi hailing app maker is partnering with China’s internet search and maps provider Baidu, and private equity firm Apax Partners, with the next round of bids due in two weeks, according to Bloomberg.
Baidu may be joining hands with Uber to avoid being scrutinised by regulatory authorities, the report said.
Previously it was reported that car manufacturers Audi, BMW and Daimler had clubbed together to make an indicative bid for HERE and that they may need outside financial help if they are to fend off competition.
Sources have said Chinese firms Tencent and NavInfo and Sweden’s EQT Partners AB are also in the line up to bid for the business, which could go for as much as $4 billion, as are three US private equity firms, while Microsoft has said it wants to buy a minority stake.
However, none of the companies have commented on the matter.
The report added that Nokia wants to sell HERE to focus on mobile network equipment and services so it can be in a better position to compete with Ericsson and Huawei, while the sale will also help fund the acquisition of Alcatel-Lucent – which will cost Nokia around $16.6 billion.
HERE’s most recent quarterly numbers showed strong revenue growth. In Q1 2015 the business saw net sales jump by 25 per cent.