MiTAC sale rescues 100 NZ Navman jobs

Taiwanese OEM picks up PND operations for US$16 million

One hundred jobs are said be safe at Navman after large Taiwanese original equipment manufacturer MiTAC's purchase of the personal navigation device (PND) operations from Brunswick New Technologies for US$16 million (NZ$22.42 million).

The deal includes Navman Europe, Naviart of Hong Kong and Naviart Information Technology in Shanghai, and has already been concluded.

While Brunswick Corporation moved to full ownership of Navaman NZ in June 2004 when it bought the remaining thirty per cent of the company for US$33 million after having spent US$54 million the year before, it failed to turn the deal into a success.

Brunswick had to write down the value of Navman in the fourth quarter of last year after and put the unit up for sale after reporting a large loss. Earlier this month, Computerworld reported that Navman would make up to one hundred employees redundant and the research and development centre to be closed.

MiTAC now however says that the PND division will operate intact in New Zealand, and that R&D will in fact be strengthened locally. The Taiwanese company says there will be no changes to staffing at Navman's New Zealand operations, with employees and management retained at today's levels. It confirms that that number of jobs safe is 100.

Having been an OEM supplier to Navman in the past, MiTAC will now be the sole provider for global positioning system (GPS) devices and personal digital assistants (PDAs).

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