Sat, Feb 24, 2007 - Page 6 News List

MiTAC to buy Brunswick Corp's GPS unit, brand

By Lisa Wang  /  STAFF REPORTER

Taiwan's MiTAC International Corp (神達), the world's biggest manufacturer of global positioning system (GPS) devices on a contract basis, yesterday said it planned to buy Brunswick Corp's GPS operations in a cash deal to boost competitiveness and widen its lead over rivals.

MiTAC said it would acquire a portable navigation device unit and the Navman brand from Brunswick, based in Lake Forecast, US, via an overseas subsidiary, Silver Star Development Ltd, the company's filing to the Taiwan Stock Exchange said.

The deal is scheduled to close next month, the statement said. MiTAC did not disclose the terms of the transaction.

"We cannot reveal any financial terms now as we are in the process of signing an agreement with Brunswick," Justine Liu (劉宜君) said in a telephone interview.

The company planned to hold a press conference on Monday to reveal more details.

MiTAC said it aimed "to boost the competitiveness of its GPS products and global market share."

MiTAC has about a 30 percent share of the world's navigation system market, Liu said.

Last year, MiTAC shipped 4.5 million units of GPS devices, holding a marginal lead over Dutch rival Tom Tom NV, she said.

The company said earlier this year that it expected to ship 7 million GPS devices this year.

MiTAC sells GPS devices under the brand of Mio as well as making such products for other companies, including Brunswick.

MiTAC said it earned NT$3.65 billion (US$109.7 million), or NT$2.98 per share, in the first nine months of last year.

Securities house CLSA Ltd forecast the company would earn NT$4.02 a share last year, down from NT$4.53 a share earned in 2005.

GPS products accounted for less than 40 percent of MiTAC's total revenues of NT$82.88 billion last year. MiTAC also makes servers and computers.

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