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SINGAPORE'S sovereign wealth fund GIC will jointly acquire a 10 per cent stake in HERE, the Open Location Platform company, with Chinese Internet services provider Tencent Holdings and NavInfo, China's digital maps and location services provider.
The transaction is expected to be completed in the first half of 2017, subject to regulatory approvals.
The purchase means the three current shareholders of HERE - Audi AG, BMW AG and Daimler AG - would reduce their indirect shareholding in equal measure.
HERE, NavInfo and Tencent also intend to form a strategic partnership to develop location services for the Chinese market, subject to regulatory approvals.
The partnership will see HERE and NavInfo form a 50:50 joint venture (JV) in China, enabling location services for Chinese and global customers across a range of industries.
They plan to deploy and localise HERE's Auto SDK - a flexible and modular software development toolkit for embedded in-car experiences - for the Chinese market with its specific requirements.
The JV will also create and provide high-definition mapping and location services for autonomous cars for a joint customer base.
It will also operate a platform which extends the Internet of Things (IoT) solutions by HERE - such as fleet management, on-demand services and asset tracking - to the Chinese market.
Meanwhile, Chinese WeChat messaging app developer Tencent will explore the use of HERE's mapping and location platform services and tools in its own products and services both in China and internationally, also subject to regulatory approvals.
Choo Yong Cheen, chief investment officer at GIC Private Equity, said: "As a long-term value investor, we are confident HERE is well-positioned to extend its success in automotive space to areas of IoT, smart cities and fleet management.
"We believe this strategic collaboration with NavInfo and Tencent will generate good momentum for its global expansion and its development of HAD (highly automated driving) Map."
Edzard Overbeek, chief executive officer of HERE, welcomed GIC as a financial investor which "values the long-term prospects of the company".
He said: "Our intention has been to broaden our shareholder base to reflect how location intelligence will fuel invention and expansion across different industries in all parts of the world. We are therefore excited to welcome NavInfo and Tencent both as strategic investors who share our vision of the future and as partners with whom we will create attractive new services for the Chinese market."