|Amsterdam, Netherlands: Shares of Dutch navigation device maker TomTom fell sharply Tuesday after the company issued stock to help finance its proposed â‚¬2.9 billion (US$4.3 billion) acquisition of digital mapmaker Tele Atlas.
Separately, a majority of TomTom NV shareholders approved the purchase at an extraordinary meeting in Amsterdam, where the company is based.
Shares were down 7.8 percent at â‚¬57.80 (US$85.19) in Amsterdam trading, after TomTom said it had raised about â‚¬457 million (US$674 million) by issuing 8.1 million new shares to help finance the buy.
Those shares will hit the market on Dec. 7 after payment is settled.
TomTom’s fight to buy Tele Atlas NV, which is based in Den Bosch, Netherlands, has already had a long road and still faces hurdles.
Last week, the European Union opened an in-depth antitrust investigation after its preliminary probe “indicated that the proposed merger raises serious doubts” about whether the joint entity would leave the European market of portable navigation devices open to enough competition.
TomTom hopes to integrate Tele Atlas’s maps into its devices, allowing, for instance, features such as instantaneous map updates based on feedback from users stuck in traffic.
It initially bid â‚¬21.25 per share for Tele Atlas in July.
But after Finland’s Nokia Corp. bought Chicago-based Navteq Inc. â€” the only major digital mapmaker other than Tele Atlas with global operations â€” in early October, TomTom’s larger rival Garmin Ltd. entered the bidding for Tele Atlas at â‚¬24.50 per share.
TomTom, which relies primarily on Tele Atlas maps, was obliged to respond or face having to buy maps from its main competitor. It raised its offer to â‚¬30 per share.
But in November, Cayman Islands-based Garmin signed a supply deal with Nokia Corp. to secure access to Navteq maps until 2015 and dropped out of the bidding for Tele Atlas, apparently leaving the field to TomTom.
The EU commission has now set an April 17 deadline to approve or reject the deal.
“I do believe we will get clearance from the European Commission,” TomTom Chief Executive Harold Goddijn told shareholders Tuesday.