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Garmin grabs two more distributors

by Stuart Wilson, Friday 2 May 2008

Satellite navigation solutions vendor Garmin has signed letters of intent to buy its consumer distribution partners in Austria and Portugal. Garmin has moved to acquire Puls Elektronik in Austria and Satsignal in Portugal. The move forms part of Garmin’s ongoing strategy of snapping up its channel partners across Europe.

Dr. Min Kao, chairman and CEO at NASDAQ-quoted Garmin, said: “These proposed acquisitions are a continuation of our successful strategy of enhancing our ability to support key retailers and OEMs in European markets. We have to date acquired our distributors in five European countries. These acquisitions have enabled us to increase our European market share and further solidify our position as the global leader in satellite navigation.”

“The proposed acquisitions of Puls Elektronik and Satsignal, together with the previously announced, pending acquisitions of our distributors in Belgium and Finland, will further strengthen Garmin’s distribution in European markets,” Kao added.

Dr. Hartwig Strobl, managing director at Puls Elektronik, commented: "We are very proud of our achievements in building the Garmin brand into a leading position in Austria. We are confident that full integration of our company into the Garmin family will enable us to achieve benefits for our customers and additional sales growth.”

Carlos Martins, managing director at Satsignal, added: “As the distributor in Portugal of Garmin’s automotive/mobile, marine and outdoor/fitness products since 2002, we at Satsignal are also proud of our achievements in building the Garmin brand in Portugal. We expect to be able to achieve additional efficiencies and capture more opportunities through full integration into Garmin.”

Both deals are expected to complete by August 2008, but financial terms have not been released. Following the deal Puls Elektronik is expected to rename as Garmin Austria with Satsignal becoming Garmin Portugal. Both companies will retain their management, sales, marketing and supporting staff, consisting of 30 people at Puls Elektronik and 15 people at Satsignal, and will continue operations at their current headquarters located respectively in Graz, Austria and Lisbon, Portugal respectively.

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