Norwest Equity Partners Exits PeopleNet

Middle-market investment firm Norwest Equity Partners has exited its investment in PeopleNet, selling the company to listed Trimble Navigation Ltd. The deal closed on August 5. PeopleNet is a provider of mobile communications systems to the trucking industry. Financial terms of the sale were not released. PeopleNet is headquartered in Minnetonka, Minnesota.

Norwest Equity Partners (“NEP”), a leading middle market investment firm, has announced that its portfolio company, PeopleNet (or the “Company”), a provider of industry-leading, innovative mobile communications systems to the trucking industry, has been sold to Trimble Navigation Limited (NASDAQ:TRMB). The transaction closed on August 5, 2011.

Founded in 1994, PeopleNet was the first major technology provider to offer Internet-based and integrated onboard computing and mobile communications to the transportation industry. PeopleNet delivers fleets with effective software and hardware solutions that help manage regulatory compliance, fuel costs, driver safety and customer visibility. Earning a highly-regarded performance track record over the years, PeopleNet is committed to excellence and prides itself on delivering customer-centric initiatives. In addition to several Fortune 500 companies, PeopleNet’s products are used by approximately 1,500 truckload, LTL, private and regional fleets and more than 100,000 subscribers in the United States and Canada.

PeopleNet’s new owner, Trimble, is based in Sunnyvale, California and provides technologies that make field and mobile workers in businesses and government significantly more productive. PeopleNet will operate within Trimble’s Mobile Solutions segment, helping to round out Trimble’s robust portfolio of proven solutions to a growing international customer base. Ron Konezny, PeopleNet CEO, and his management team will continue to provide leadership for the PeopleNet business.

A differentiated business model, leading edge technology, and exciting growth potential initially attracted NEP to the investment opportunity with PeopleNet 11 years ago. Since then, NEP and the PeopleNet management team have worked together to build the Company from an early-stage, start-up to a high growth, profitable business.

Konezny stated, “Our partnership with NEP over the last several years has been an integral part of our success. The combination of investment capital, operating partner resources, industry knowledge, and strategic direction has helped PeopleNet to consistently achieve growth initiatives and provide unmatched technology solutions for our customers.”

Erik Torgerson, a partner at NEP and PeopleNet board member, stated, “We tremendously value the partnership we’ve had with Ron and his management team over the years. Collectively, their team has provided leadership, motivation and commitment to the overall success of the business. PeopleNet is well-positioned to seamlessly join forces with Trimble to continue creating and offering unique technology solutions for their customers.”

PeopleNet is headquartered in Minnetonka, Minnesota.