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Truckmaker Volvo sells 75 percent of connected car unit to VW

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Truckmaker Volvo sells 75 percent of connected car unit to VW
FILE PHOTO: The logo of Swedish truck maker Volvo is pictured at the IAA truck show in Hanover, September 22, 2016. REUTERS/Fabian Bimmer/File Photo   -   Copyright  Fabian Bimmer(Reuters)
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BERLIN/STOCKHOLM (Reuters) – Volvo <VOLVb.ST> has agreed to sell 75.1 percent of WirelessCar, a digital service developer specialising in connected driving, to Volkswagen (VW) <VOWG_p.DE> for 1.1 billion Swedish crowns (96.06 million pounds), the Swedish truckmaker said on Wednesday.

The deal will allow Volvo to focus on commercial vehicles, its core business since it sold Volvo Cars in 1999.

Several truck and carmakers have been shedding assets to pool money into developing expensive electrical and driverless vehicles, markets where they face competition from new entrants such as Tesla <TSLA.O>.

WirelessCar has its own technology platform and develops digital services like billing and safety and emergency breakdown services for customers including Jaguar Land Rover [TAMOJL.UL], Daimler <DAIGn.DE>, Nissan <7201.T> and Volvo Cars [GEELY.UL].

The company has more than 3 million active connected cars across the globe and is expected to report revenues of about 500 million crowns in 2018, Volvo said in its statement.

VW said WirelessCar technology would further its goal of developing value-added services for customers by enabling safe and stable data exchange between operating systems in its cars and a cloud platform it is developing with Microsoft <MSFT.O>.

The German carmaker added that the deal still had to be approved by cartel authorities and that it expected the transaction to close during the first half of 2019.

On closing, the divestment would result in a positive impact on Volvo’s operating income of about 1.5 billion crowns and on cash flow of 1.1 billion crowns, Volvo said.

(Reporting by Tassilo Hummel in Berlin and Esha Vaish in Stockholm; Editing by Maria Sheahan and Edmund Blair)

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