Nokia Here Maps
Nokia Here Maps is currently available for iOS, Android and Windows Phone handsets, as well as on desktop browsersNokia

A consortium of German automakers has agreed a deal to acquire Nokia Here Maps, Reuters reported, citing two people familiar with the matter.

In the deal, likely to be announced on 3 August, the consortium that includes Daimler, BMW and Volkswagen's premium division Audi, has agreed to pay close to €2.9bn (£2bn, $3.2bn), one of the people said.

The companies were unavailable for comments to Reuters.

The Wall Street Journal had earlier reported the deal, priced at slightly more than €2.5bn, but cautioned that it was yet to be certain.

The WSJ added that the German firms would invite their global peers such as Fiat Chrysler, Renault, PSA Peugot Citroën, Ford Motor, Toyota and General Motors to invest in Nokia Here after the deal.

There were reports that Facebook, ridesharing service Uber and US private equity firm Hellman & Friedman were vying for Here, along with the German automakers.

After the acquisition of smaller network equipment rival Alcatel-Lucent, Nokia announced a strategic review of the Here unit, which is among the company's three remaining businesses after the sale of its handset unit to Microsoft. The unit was put on sale by Nokia in April.

The Finnish company built its mapping and location business on the back of an $8.1bn acquisition in 2008 of US-based Navteq, a maker of geographical information systems used in the automotive industry. The sale comes as Nokia looks to focus on its wireless network unit for better growth.

While Google Maps has the biggest presence among smartphone users, Here Maps dominates automobile mapping, with a global market share of more than 80% for built-in car navigation systems.

Based in Berlin, Here employs about 6,000 people worldwide. The unit reported yearly revenue of $1.1bn, or less than 8% of Nokia's total sales in 2014.