(Yicai Global) Sept. 28 -- Chinese location service provider NavInfo Co. [SHE:002405] decided to terminate its plans to jointly acquire a 10-percent stake in map services firm HERE Technologies with Tencent Holdings Ltd. [HK:0700] and Singaporean investment firm GIC Pte due to a long delay in obtaining approval from foreign regulators.
"Due to the particularity of overseas regulatory approvals, the transaction has not been approved by the overseas regulator before the deadline of the audit period," the company said. "Therefore, the company intends to terminate the transaction after negotiating with the related parties."
NavInfo said that although it intends to suspend its integration with HERE on the capital level, their business cooperation will not be affected. They have established a joint venture that operates in China.
The regulator NavInfo mentioned is the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS), Caixin reported. CFIUS is an inter-agency committee authorized to review transactions that could result in control of a US business by a foreign investment or acquisition to determine the effect of such transactions on the national security of the United States.
HERE operates in the United States. Although this transaction is only for a 10-percent stake, if a transaction involves special powers such as board seats or veto rights, CFIUS can give consideration to the fact that the transaction may result in foreign control and it has the right to review the transaction, an insider told Caixin.
NavInfo announced in April last year that it intended to acquire the stake in HERE alongside Tencent and GIC. This would have given the investors the right to nominate a board director of HERE, and they planned to suggest a NavInfo employee be appointed. They also would have had the right to nominate a member of HERE's strategic advisory committee, and they planned to pick someone from Tencent. The German antitrust authority approved the transaction in January.
HERE is the world's largest provider of digital maps for the automotive industry. Nokia Corp. [Euronext:NOKIA; NYSE:NOK; HEL:NOKIA] owned it before a consortium of German automakers Audi AG [FWB:NSU], BMW AG and Daimler AG [FWB:DAI] acquired it in December 2015.
Tencent is a major shareholder of NavInfo.