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April 21, 2004

Navtec to sell $500m shares in IPO

Navteq Corp, which claims to be the world's largest provider of digital mapping systems, is selling $500m shares in an IPO on Nasdaq. No new money is to be raised by the offering, which is designed to give Royal Philips Electronics NV, which owns 83.5% of the company, and venture capitalist NavPart I NV, which holds a 10.2% holding, an opportunity to cash in on part of their investment.

By CBR Staff Writer

Chicago, Illinois-based Navteq offers digital map information for automotive navigation systems, mobile navigation devices and internet-based mapping applications for 40 countries, covering approximately 8.7 million miles of roadway. It says that every automobile manufacturer that currently offers a navigation system in North America and Europe uses its database in one or more of their models. Navteq’s principal internet-based customers include AOL/MapQuest, Microsoft/MSN and Yahoo!.

The company has an impressive record of growth and originally planned an IPO in 2001 before the market turned sour. Revenue grew steadily from $51m in 1999 to $165.8m in 2002. In the year to December 31 2003, it broke into the black with net income, boosted by a tax benefit of $165.5m, of $235.8m on revenue that increased 64.4% to $272.6m.

Navteq does not see growth flagging. It quotes market research firm Frost & Sullivan as predicting the number of new vehicles in Europe equipped with navigation systems will grow at a compound annual rate of more than 20% over the next five years, reaching a total of 4.6 million units in 2008. For North America, Frost & Sullivan estimate the market will grow by a compound annual rate of more than 30% over the next five years, reaching a total of 1.7 million units in 2008.

Growth is also expected in the market for consumer GPS-enabled devices such as PDAs, wireless handsets, personal navigation devices, and laptop computers. It quotes industry research firm Business Communications Company Inc as forecasting that at least half of all cellular handsets sold in the US will incorporate GPS technology by 2008.

Navteq lists its major competitors as TeleAtlas NV and Geographic Data Technologies Inc together with several European governmental and quasi-governmental mapping agencies.

This article is based on material originally published by ComputerWire

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