Personal navigation devices company Garmin has made a $3.3 billion bid to acquire Tele Atlas NV, the digital mapmaker which has already attracted a takeover offer from TomTom.
In July 2007, TomTom offered to pay a price of $30.63 per share to acquire Tele Atlas and enter the digital mapping industry. However, given Garmin’s bid, which is
15% higher, Tele Atlas is now likely to invite TomTom to raise its offer.
Garmin chief executive Min Kao said that the acquisition would enable integration of digital maps with the products that display them, which is similar to TomTom’s objective behind acquiring Tele Atlas.
Taco Titulaer, spokesman at Amsterdam-based TomTom, said that the company was studying the $35.31-per-share bid by Garmin and would reply in some form in the near future.
Navteq Corp, Tele Atlas’ only major competitor, is currently the subject of an $8.1 billion bid from Nokia which hopes to integrate digital maps in its multimedia handsets. Nokia’s offering of digital maps integrated handsets would compete with offerings from players such as Google’s MyMaps and Google Earth/Sketchup initiatives platform.
In 2005, Tele Atlas and Garmin grew inorganically to enhance their offerings. Tele Atlas acquired mobile mapping system development company PPWK GeoInvent to offer all-around view capability in car navigation systems. Garmin acquired MotionBased Technologies, in October 2005, to offer web-based mapping service to its customers, which include travel monitoring and GPS tracks.
The acquisitions from Nokia and Garmin would increase the competition in web based digital maps offered through personal navigation devices (PND), and handsets. This could also increase challenges for PND manufacturers such as Denso, Alpine and Harman Becker.
Source: ComputerWire daily updates