Amsterdam-based location technology specialists TomTom have sold their Telematics division to Bridgestone Europe for £795 million, a large portion of the money will be returned to shareholders as the company seeks to become more ‘focused and agile’.
TomTom’s telematics division allowed enterprises to track their fleet of vehicles in real-time. Driver behaviour can be monitored and analysed through the placement of cameras and sensors in and on the vehicle.
Tokyo-headquartered Bridgestone, the largest manufacturer of tyres in the world, will look to incorporate TomTom’s telematics division into its own offering in EMEA, where it is in the process of growing its digital business in vehicle data analytics.
Bridgestone is growing its digital capabilities having recently launched analytical products such as Tirematics and Fleetpulse. With the acquisition of TomTom’s telematics division the company gains TomTom’s user base of 860,000 vehicles and a data trove of 800 million GPS positions, 3.3 million trips, and 200 million inbound messages per day.
Paolo Ferrari CEO of Bridgestone EMEA comment in the announcement that: “We have found our perfect match in TomTom Telematics. Our complementary assets and capabilities will create a fleet solutions powerhouse and will further strengthen Bridgestone’s digital technology arm.”
“Beyond scale, there would be considerable benefits by complementing our offerings, allowing us, among many other opportunities, to sell tyres and solutions across our customers.”
TomTom Telematics Division Sale Done in ‘Best Interest’
TomTom is best known for producing navigation and GPS systems for industry and commercial vehicles. In 2007, the company was at a peak with a share price of over £48.
However, with the advent of smartphone devices customers began to use map applications to navigate, reducing the need for a one purpose vehicle navigation device. TomTom’s shares reflected this consumer change as the enterprise went from a share price of £46 to £2 in a dizzying fall over two years from 2007 to 2009.
Harold Goddijn CEO of TomTom commented in a released statement that: “After a thorough review of strategic options, we have determined that the sale of Telematics to Bridgestone is in the best interest of both Telematics and our core location technology business,”
Over 80 percent of the money from the sale will be distributed among shareholders in a capital repayment as the company seeks to become more focused and agile.