HELSINKI (Reuters) - Nokia is considering selling its maps business HERE, a report by Bloomberg News said, pushing up shares in the Finnish company as well as its network gear rival Alcatel-Lucent.
The business is attracting interest from the industry as well as private equity firms, and bids were expected soon, the report said, citing unnamed sources.
A Nokia spokeswoman declined to comment on the report.
Shares in Nokia rose 5.6 percent while those in France's Alcatel-Lucent were up 4.8 percent. The two companies have reportedly held on-off merger talks in recent years.
In addition, shares in Dutch navigation company TomTom surged more than 11 percent after the report.
"We have estimated that HERE's value is around 3.3-4.8 billion euros, and in a possible deal the price should be more than that," Inderes Equity Research said in its Twitter account.
Nokia sold its once-dominant phone handset business to Microsoft last year, leaving it with its core network equipment business, HERE as well as its patent division.
HERE last year had net sales of around 969 million euros with an operating profit of 31 million euros. The unit has lately signed several orders from the car industry.
Nokia bought HERE's predecessor Navteq for 5.7 billion euros in 2007.
(Reporting By Jussi Rosendahl; Editing by Pravin Char)