Acquisition: TomTom buys out its African shareholders


For most kids, childhood is made up of something sweet and little bother for the company that makes these sweets.

For most Africans, Tom Tom is a name that needs no introduction. The classic black and white oval shaped goodness with the right amount of sweetness and mint has not only provided memories to our taste buds but also featured in some culinary recipes that could cure cough and catarrh.

But this time, it is not the sweet product that is in the news but, the technology.

TomTom has strengthened its position in Africa by buying out the minority shareholders of TomTom Africa (Pty) Ltd. Consequently, TomTom increases its ownership from 76 to 100 per cent.

TomTom NV is a Dutch company that produces traffic, navigation and mapping products. It also makes action cameras, GPS sport watches, fleet management systems, and location-based products. As of 2015 TomTom’s business has four business units: Consumer, Automotive, Licensing and Telematics, through which it sells and licences its technology and products.

According to the company, this latest development has underscored its commitment in providing its partners with high-quality global map and traffic products, and its trust in the growth potential in Africa for geospatial applications, smart city services, connected navigation and highly automated driving.

Alain De Taeye, Member of TomTom’s Management Board said: “Full control of the roadmap for Africa will accelerate our go-to-market of innovative ADAS (Advanced Driver Assistance Systems) and automated driving applications.

This includes industry-leading location-based and mapmaking technologies, embedded automotive navigation solutions; portable navigation devices and apps, and the most advanced telematics fleet management and connected car services.

Combining its own R&D expertise with business and technology partnerships, it continues to shape the future, leading the way with autonomous driving, smart mobility and smarter cities.

Headquartered in Amsterdam with offices in 37 countries, the company offers advanced digital maps that cover 142 countries, and its hyper-detailed and real-time TomTom Traffic information service that reaches more than five billion people in 69 countries.

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