Bridgestone Europe has entered into an agreement with TomTom to acquire its telematics business for $1.1 billion. Bridgestone Europe is a subsidiary of Bridgestone Corp.
The transaction will bring together the world’s largest tire and rubber company with the No. 1 provider of digital fleet solutions in Europe, according to Bridgestone. 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 tires and solutions to a larger customer base. The data access also will enhance Bridgestone’s virtual tire development and testing as well as connected tire 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, according to the company. Increasing demand in the transportation industry means that fleet owners and managers need to maximize productivity and minimize total cost of ownership more than ever.
This latest investment builds on previous work at Bridgestone to strengthen its digital capabilities. 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 has an 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 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.
“We have found our perfect match in TomTom Telematics. Our complementary assets and capabilities will create a fleet solutions powerhouse and will further strengthen Bridgestone’s digital technology arm,” said Paolo Ferrari, CEO and president of Bridgestone EMEA and executive vice president of Bridgestone Group. “Beyond scale, there would be considerable benefits by complementing our offerings, allowing us, among many other opportunities, to sell tires and solutions across our customers. We are now well-positioned in EMEA to accelerate our data-driven business, expand our fleet customer base and seize fast-growing, profitable opportunities in the automotive mobility industry.”
The transaction is anticipated to be completed in the second quarter of 2019. The transaction is still subject to the relevant regulatory approvals, the consultation with TomTom employee representative bodies, and approval of TomTom’s shareholders.