Apple could make a TomTom takeover bid: analyst

Apple could fix its iOS 6 Maps app woes by throwing a couple of billion dollars at TomTom, the Dutch supplier of navigation applications.
Written by Adrian Kingsley-Hughes, Senior Contributing Editor

Apple has been in a bit of a hole since releasing iOS 6. The company's decision to give Google the boot in favor of its own mapping application has been the subject of widespread criticism. Not only did the switch mean the removal of features, but the mapping data itself has left a lot to be desired.

However, according to one analyst, Apple could be getting ready to solve this problem by making a bid for Dutch supplier of navigation applications, TomTom.

According to Hans Slob, an Utrecht, Netherlands-based analyst at Rabobank International, there is a 30 percent chance that Apple could pay as much as €10 ($13) per share for the company. This deal would be valued at over $2 billion, a lot of money, but a drop in the ocean for a company sitting on $121.25 billion cash pile.

"TomTom needs the cash from Apple, and Apple needs the know-how of TomTom," said Slob.

TomTom already supplies some mapping data to Apple, but a takeover would give the Cupertino, Calif.-based technology giant access to even more data, and a company that is well-placed to address the criticisms leveled at the Apple Maps app, and bring new features to iOS.

TomTom's stock has grown by 33 percent this year alone, valuing the company at roughly $1.18 billion.

Back in October, TomTom chief executive Harold Goddijn said that the company planned to remain independent following speculation that it might go private following an injection of cash.

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