NZ’s Navman is sold to rival Taiwanese GPS-maker, Mio

By Sarah Falson

TAIPEI: Brunswick Corporation’s GPS department which makes Navman portable and in-car navigation systems has been sold to Mio parent, Taiwan-based Mitac, but the two rivals will still run independently, according to reports.

Mitac manufactures mobile telecommunications devices, personal computers and servers which are sold internationally, with its best-known offering in Australia being its line of Mio-branded portable navigation devices.

Current.com.au received confirmation of the sale from Mitac’s head office in Taipei, but the company was unable to reveal any details about the acquisition due to “regulatory requirements.”

“We are not allowed to disclose any details until the deal is closed,” said Mitac manager – investor/public relations, Justine Liu.

“The expected date of closing is March, but no exact date of closing yet.”

Brunswick announced in April 2006 that it would look in to selling its BNT business unit, which kicked off with the sale of its marine electronics brands, MX Marine and Northstar to Navico, a Norwegian marine navigation business.

According to a report from Brunswick which announced the buy-out, Navman’s head-honcho wishes the business well.

“We are pleased to have found a strategic buyer with expertise and technologies central to PND products," said Brunswick chairman and chief executive officer, Dustan E. McCoy.

"We believe such a buyer is more apt to fully appreciate every segment of the business and will be able to focus on this business’ technological expertise, helping it reach its full potential."

According to a report from online newspaper, Digitimes in Taipei, the two companies will continue to function independently and both Mio and Navman brands will remain on the market to achieve optimal market share.

According to Mitac president, Billy Ho, Navman and Mio are quite complementary as they are sold through different marketing channels around the world, which was part of the motivation for purchasing the brand.

Ho revealed in a press conference in Taipei that conditions for the deal are attractive, and Mitac will pay for the Navman business in cash.

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