TomTom Offers $2.5 Billion For Map Maker Tele Atlas; Plans More Accuracy

TomTom, one of the leading makers of GPS navigation products for dash-mounted devices, PDAs and mobile phones, has offered to acquire its main map supplier, Tele Atlas, for EUR 1.8 ($2.5) billion, with the aim of adding a host of new mapping features. Both companies are based in the Netherlands. Tele Atlas also provides maps to the likes of Google as well as to Nokia for the handset maker’s own mobile navigation app. The acquisition is a cash offer of EUR 21.25 ($29) per share. Pooling of resources would allow the pair to deliver routes customized to latest traffic conditions, improved maps based on user feedback and more regularly downloaded maps — all of which should make maps more accurate. The Tele Atlas management and board support the bid; the usual shareholder and regulatory requirements apply. Joint release.

Reuters: “Tele Atlas … could, however, lose some of its clients, particularly those companies that compete directly with TomTom in the market for portable devices, analysts said.” Such clients also include Mapquest, Fed Ex, Pioneer, Sprint and Mercedes. The deal leaves Tele Atlas rival Navteq as the main supplier to TomTom’s rival Garmin.