Battle of the planet for sat nav giants

1 Nov 2007

A massive bidding war for a Dutch mapmaking firm is currently underway following a massive unsolicited US$3.3 billion offer by Garmin for digital map provider Tele Atlas.

The move by Garmin trumps a previous offer by rival TomTom to buy Tele Atlas for €1.8 billion.

The bidding illustrates a heightened state of competition in the sat nav world.

Only a month ago Tele Atlas’s only other competitor, US-based Navteq was bought by mobile phone maker Nokia for US$5.7 billion.

Garmin’s bid most likely will leave red faces all-round at Tom Tom. Tele Atlas in July accepted a bid of €1.8 billion from TomTom NV, a Dutch rival of Garmin.

Tele Atlas’s board had agreed to recommend the offer to shareholders.

In a statement the company said: “Tele Atlas confirms that it has received this morning a letter from Garmin expressing their intention to make a public offer for all outstanding shares of €24.50 per share in cash.

“Tele Atlas will review the terms and conditions of the offer and further steps and will inform the market as soon as reasonably possible.”

By John Kennedy