Amid Worries About Closing Map Deals, Navteq and Tele Atlas Slide

by: Eric Savitz

Investors have become nervous about the pending acquisitions of digital map companies Navteq (NVT-OLD) and Tele Atlas (OTC:TLATF).

Navteq, which in October agreed to a $78-a-share bid from Nokia (NYSE:NOK), is down sharply. Amsterdam-listed Tele Atlas, which is awaiting regulatory approval for its pending acquisition by TomTom (OTCPK:TMOAF), has likewise taken a significant hit.

There seem to be two issues at play here. One, there are concerns about weakness in the personal navigation device market. Both TomTom and GPS-chip provider SiRF (SIRF) have issued Q1 earnings warnings; Oppenheiner today chopped estimates for Garmin (NASDAQ:GRMN), citing weakening consumer demand for PNDs. And two, there are worries about winning regulatory approval for the deals in Europe.

Reuters is reporting that TomTom offered EU regulators no remedies to remove their “serious doubts” over its planned purchase of Tele Atlas. TomTom did say that it is committed to the deal, and that contrary to rumors, there were no issues in funding the acquisition.

Meanwhile, Nokia today said it is confident that its purchase of Navteq will receive approval from European regulators.

In today’s trading:

  • Navteq is off $4.57, or 6.4%, to $66.40.
  • In Amsterdam, Tele Atlas is off 3.35 Euros, or 13.1%, to 22.25.
  • Nokia is down 14 cents, or 0.4%, to $32.68.
  • Also in Amsterdam, TomTom is off 0.49, or 2.3%, to 20.92.