Nokia has announced an agreement to sell its Here mapping and location services for €2.8bn (£1.96bn) to a consortium of car companies comprising Audi, BMW and Mercedes.
Nokia said that the deal will close in the first quarter of 2016, which will see the end of the reviewing process Nokia has been carrying out with Here following the sale of its mobile hardware division to Microsoft in 2013.
Rajeev Suri, president and chief executive of Nokia, said the sale of Here, which operates as a separate business unit, marks the latest stage of a company transformation.
"We integrated the former Nokia Siemens Networks, divested our Devices & Services business, and have now reached agreement on a transaction for Here that we believe is the best path forward for our shareholders, as well as the customers and employees of Here," he said.
"We will focus on our planned combination with Alcatel-Lucent. Once that is complete, Nokia will be a renewed company with a world-leading network technology and services business, as well as the licensing and innovation engine of Nokia Technologies."
Here presents an attractive acquisition for the car consortium, according to Nokia, as the unit has developed a "location cloud" that makes use of the data generated by vehicles as well as other devices and infrastructure on the road.
The cloud service then uses the data to deliver predictive and personalised location services to drivers in real time.
Nokia Here already has a presence in the automotive world as it provides car makers with mapping services, and is currently focusing on developing precise location systems that Nokia claims will help with automated driving.
Sean Fernback, president of Here, explained that the acquisition is a positive outcome for the business.
"The new ownership structure of Here will allow us to accelerate our strategy, further scale our business and fulfil our intention to become the leading location cloud company across industries," he said.
Once the transaction closes Nokia will consist of two businesses: Nokia Networks, which provides broadband infrastructure software and services, and Nokia Technologies, which works on development and licensing.
Streamlining the business seems to be a shrewd move by Nokia, particularly after offloading its underperforming hardware division to Microsoft, which has been forced to reduce smartphone production and cut 7,800 jobs from the unit.
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