Garmin in Talks to Buy Navigon for $72M

Navigation system maker Garmin is in talks to buy smaller, German rival Navigon for roughly 50 million euro ($72 million), Reuters reported, citing a story in the Financial Times Deutschland. Buyout shop General Atlantic Partners owns 90% of Navigon.

(Reuters) – Garmin is in negotiations to buy German maker of navigation devices Navigon for around 50 million euros ($72.14 million), a German daily reported on Friday, citing people familiar with the talks.

According to the Financial Times Deutschland the “mid-double-digit million euro” deal could be sealed this month.

Navigon is 90 percent owned by private equity firm General Atlantic Partners and offers personal navigation devices (PNDs), a must-have gadget for car owners not so long ago.

The sector came under severe pressure after Nokia and Google started offering free navigation services, forcing Navigon and market leaders Garmin and TomTom to look for additional services.

Garmin and TomTom are trying to reduce their reliance on PNDs while turning themselves from a one-product firm to a content and services franchise by offering live traffic and mapping services.

The modest price Garmin is willing to pay for Navigon reflects the problems in the industry, a source told the paper.

“For General Atlantic this will no longer be a performing investment,” the source was quoted as saying.

General Atlantic declined to comment, while Navigon and Garmin could not immediately be reached for comment.

($1=.6931 Euro)

(Reporting by Harro ten Wolde; Editing by Jon Loades-Carter)