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Chinese group withdraws its offer to buy stake in mapping company HERE

A Chinese-led group has withdrawn its offer to buy a stake in German carmaker-backed mapping company HERE after it failed to win approval from a U.S. national security oversight board.

 Chinese group withdraws its offer to buy stake in mapping company HERE

HERE logo.

Chinese mapping company Navinfo said on 26 September that the company and partners Chinese internet giant Tencent and Singapore sovereign wealth fund GIC had dropped plans to take 10 percent of HERE, which is developing high-resolution maps to enable autonomous driving and a range of other internet services.

Navinfo said in a statement that it spent months after the deal was announced in January seeking approval from the U.S. Committee on Foreign Investment (CFIUS). But after meeting CFIUS resistance, the group had decided to pull its investment offer. It did not give details of why CFIUS opposed the investment.

HERE, the world’s biggest provider of digital maps for the automotive industry, conducts business in the United States and is 15 percent owned by U.S. chipmaker Intel Corp.

Chinese investments in companies the U.S. government considers key to national security have come under increasing scrutiny from CFIUS, a secretive interagency panel chaired by the Treasury department.

Last year CFIUS blocked plans by a Chinese company to acquire the assets of German electronic chipmaker Aixtron and a second deal in which Philips planned to sell its Lumileds lighting business to a Chinese fund.

Navinfo and Amsterdam-based HERE said in separate statements that they both still planned to cooperate to create high resolution maps for future autonomous driving services in China, without Navinfo or partners taking a financial stake in HERE.

Navinfo, Tencent and GIC planned to take a 10 percent stake in HERE by acquiring shares from Germany’s luxury automakers BMW, Daimler AG and VW’s Audi business, which are HERE’s three controlling shareholders.

“The decision follows a regulatory review process during which the parties determined there was no practicable path to receiving the necessary approval for the transaction to proceed,” HERE said in a statement.

Separately, Japanese auto electronics maker Pioneer Corp said last week that it plans to buy a stake of less than 1 percent in HERE.

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Updated Date: Sep 26, 2017 20:17:50 IST

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