Bridgestone Europe NV/SA, a subsidiary of Bridgestone Corporation in EMEA, has entered into an agreement with TomTom to acquire its telematics business, for a cash consideration of EUR910 million. The transaction is anticipated to be completed latest in the 2nd quarter of 2019, subject to the satisfaction of customary closing conditions such as regulatory approvals.
TomTom is the number one provider of digital fleet solutions in Europe, a marketplace with very diverse in legal, commercial and cultural requirements. Its digital fleet solutions business has successfully demonstrated its ability to operate in complex and demanding market environments and has continued to strengthen its potential to expand globally.
The transaction will bring together the world’s largest tyre and rubber company with the number one provider of digital fleet solutions in Europe, creating a leading data platform for connected vehicles. TomTom Telematics will accelerate Bridgestone on its journey to becoming a mobility solutions leader in the region, and the combination of both companies’ offerings will allow Bridgestone to cross-sell tyres and solutions to a larger customer base. Furthermore, the data access will enhance Bridgestone’s virtual tyre development and testing as well as connected tyre innovation benefiting all customers including OEMs.
New social, economic and technological megatrends are pushing the pace of change in the automotive industry and the future of vehicles is connected, autonomous, shared and electric. In that context, Bridgestone has identified digital mobility solutions and fleet solutions as a strategic priority. This is reinforced by the growing importance of fleets over individually-owned vehicles for transportation of people and goods. Increasing demand in the transportation industry means that fleet owners and managers need to maximise productivity and minimise total cost of ownership more than ever.
This latest investment builds on previous work at Bridgestone to strengthen its digital capabilities in EMEA. Specifically, the company has built capabilities in data collection from sensors, data platforms and analytics. This has resulted in the launch of a range of digital solutions and applications such as Tirematics, Mobox, FleetPulse and Bridgestone Connect.
TomTom Telematics, a front-runner in a double-digit growth industry, fits Bridgestone strategically as it has a large and growing installed user base of 860,000 vehicles of which more than two thirds are commercial. It has a tailored go-to-market system and a premium digital offering including WebFleet and NextFleet. Its strong underlying technologies based on data analytics rely on an open, scalable, secure and cloud-based platform. It handles on average over 800 million GPS positions, 3.3 million trips, and 200 million inbound messages per day.
Its platform enables customers such as commercial fleets, leasing companies or corporate fleets to make their operations more efficient. It also enables partnerships such as with OEMs because of the improved driver experience. TomTom Telematics’ management team has been successful in constantly growing its customer base and maintaining a profitable business year after year. The business is also well-positioned for future growth in fleet solutions and to develop new business models relying on software capabilities.
Bridgestone has the perfect set of assets to accelerate the TomTom Telematics business. It can draw on its strong brand equity, large customer base, preferred supplier status at many of the world’s leading vehicle manufacturers and fleets, and 2,600 points-of-sale in EMEA. In addition, Bridgestone brings its industry-leading R&D investment, and Rome-based Digital Garage dedicated to the development of digital mobility solutions.