FRANKFURT, June 3 Garmin (GRMN.O) 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 NOK1V.HE
and Google (GOOG.O) started offering free navigation services,
forcing Navigon and market leaders Garmin and TomTom (TOM2.AS)
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
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.
(Reporting by Harro ten Wolde; Editing by Jon Loades-Carter)