“The proposed acquisitions of cartographer Tele Atlas by TomTom and of Navteq by Nokia have definitively altered the playing field”, stated the company. “AND feels comfortable with these developments as, on the one hand, it can develop more easily into a more attractive business partner while on the other hand it is not impossible that it could itself become a candidate for acquisition”.
AND currently offers navigable digital maps for Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Germany, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Slovenia and Turkey; it expects to have completed a full map of Western Europe by the end of 2008.
AND announced last October it has retained ThinkEquity Partners LLC, headquartered in San Francisco, U.S., as its financial advisor. However, it would be surprising to see AND moving forward with new plans before both Tele Atlas and Navteq acquisition are validated by the European Commission. The valuation of AND will highly depend on the outcome of these acquisitions and what remedies – if any – are offered by TomTom and Nokia to maintain a fair access to the map data. The European Commission is supposed to give its final word on the Tele Atlas deal by May 21; its decision on the Navteq deal should be known in August.