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Hardware firm intends to buy software co

Germany: Garmin, a navigation device manufacturer, has entered into exclusive talks to buy German navigation software supplier Navigon, according to German daily newspaper Financial Times Deutschland. The price is estimated around EUR 50 million, wrote the newspaper according to a source involved with the deal. The sale could happen in June. However, Navigon spokesperson declined to comment on the German newspaper’s report.

Navigon is currently owned at 90 percent by private equity firm General Atlantic. The firm took over the company in May 2008, increasing its stake from 25 percent to 90 percent. In the fall of 2010 Navigon had streamlined its staff, making redundancies in its research and development team in Würzburg and Hamburg. Prior to that Navigon had already outsourced some of its software development to Romania.

For Garmin this acquisition means an increased commitment to the European market, bringing on board around 370 new European associates.

More importantly it is for Garmin a way to move forward its position in the automotive industry. Besides its European PND business and global mobile navigation offering, Navigon has developed ties with German car manufacturers and signed contracts to provide its navigation solution to dashboards.

According to GPS Business News, there are speculations that mobile navigation supplier TeleNav could have also been interested in the acquisition of Navigon. Navigon had been for sale for several years but the financial crisis and the advent of free mobile navigation solutions from Nokia and Google did not help to sell the company earlier.

Source: GPS Business News