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TomTom SA sells maps business to black entrepreneurs

TomTom SA sells maps business to black entrepreneurs

Dutch multinational TomTom confirmed today that it has concluded a transaction with local black entrepreneurs that will see it sell off its South African maps business for an undisclosed amount.

The deal sees TomTom South Africa (TTSA) transform into a 100% black-owned business with complete rights to continue serving all existing mapping clients of TomTom.

While TomTom's telematics and consumer divisions will remain in their current form, the maps business will be renamed mapIT as part of the transaction. It will also attain level one broad-based black economic empowerment (B-BBEE) status, effective as of 1 January 2018.

"TomTom have been active in South Africa for the past decade and are fully committed to its transformation imperatives," says Jeroen van Zoest, TomTom EMEA CFO.

"We have been very deliberate in the execution of our B-BBEE plans and believe that we have achieved the ideal balance between global depth and local agility; our value proposal will be richer for this."

The group of black entrepreneurs taking over the business are led by Kamal Ramsingh, who until the end of 2016 was a senior partner at Deloitte Consulting Africa and had led the technology consulting practice for five years.

The new entity will be chaired by Ramsingh, while Nalini Moodley will take up the role of financial director. Sbu Luthuli will also join the board of mapIT. Etienne Louw, previously MD of TTSA, remains with the business as its commercial director.

"Our transformation into mapIT heralds a new era for our business....apart from our improved B-BBEE credentials, we are excited at the prospect of co-creating solutions with our customers and partners," Louw says.

"We are truly in the era of hyper-disruption and where data has become the new crude oil. Our relationship with a global leader like TomTom provides an ideal platform for us to build a differentiated set of offerings for the African market," Ramsingh says about the future prospects for mapIT.

With over 15 years' experience in mapping, mapIT will deliver comprehensive map and traffic insights to the market. mapIT serves more than 100 clients in South Africa with a level of specialisation in the telematics and asset-tracking sector.

TomTom was founded in 1991 and has grown from a Dutch-based start-up company into a leading multinational, global brand with close on 5 000 employees driving innovation in the mapping, navigation and more recently the autonomous vehicle markets. TomTom's products are sold to customers across various markets, reaching over 800 million people around the world every day.

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