July 20, 2017 / 1:16 PM / 2 months ago

Continental to buy 8-10 percent stake in mapping firm HERE: Magazin

Logo of German tyre company Continental is seen before the annual news conference in Hanover, Germany March 2, 2017. REUTERS/Fabian Bimmer

BERLIN (Reuters) - German car manufacturing supplier Continental is in talks to acquire an 8-10 percent stake in the digital mapping firm HERE which is now controlled by Germany’s leading carmakers, Manager Magazin said on Thursday, citing unnamed company sources.

The talks are nearing conclusion and a contract is due to be signed in September, it added.

Continental declined to comment on what it described as speculation.

Carmakers BMW, Daimler and Volkswagen (VOWG_p.DE) bought HERE for 2.8 billion euros ($3.22 billion) in 2015 from Finnish telecoms group Nokia as they push ahead with investments in self-driving cars.

Last year Chinese digital mapping company NavInfo, Tencent and Singapore’s sovereign wealth fund GIC took a 10 percent stake in HERE, with the German carmakers pledging to reduce their own stakes.

But HERE needs more capital to expand its network of high-precision maps and has been in talks with other investors. Talks with U.S. carmaker Ford are most advanced, Manager Magazin said, without being more specific.

A spokesman for Ford Europe declined comment on speculation.

Reporting by Andreas Cremer; Editing by Greg Mahlich

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