Raymarine in sale talks with Garmin and other bidders

Posted on 17 Aug 2009 by The Manufacturer

Marine navigation equipment maker Raymarine is in talks with Garmin and other parties about a possible takeover

Raymarine, the Portsmouth-based manufacturer of marine navigation equipment today (August 17) confirmed it is in talks with US mobile navigation equipment maker Garmin, about a potential sale. It is also talking to other potential bidders.

The troubled company specialises in autopilot, GPS and echo-location equipment for the leisure marine industry. It has a large debt burden and has been looking for a partner to support its business, which has suffered badly from the contraction globally in its core market. Raymarine’s market capitalisation has collapsed from just over £390m in December 2006 to £10.6m at the end of 2008.
In a statement Raymarine said it: “continues to explore a sale of the business or an equity fundraising and, in the absence of either of these, to secure additional medium term debt facilities with its banking syndicate.”

Garmin is a leading global manufacturer of navigation products that extends beyond the marine industry into mobile phones, aerospace and outdoor pursuits – it is most famous for developing the handheld GPS for outdoor recreational sports in the 1980s. It dwarfs its prospective acquisition, being valued at nearly $6bn (£3.6bn) on the Nasdaq stock exchange.

Raymarine announced the closure of its manufacturing facilities in Portsmouth in 2005, offshoring them in full to Malaysia. It no longer has any UK manufacturing facilities. Chief executive Malcolm Miller, who had previously worked for Amstrad and Pace Micro Technology, left the company in November 2008. The company is being run by in a temporary capacity by chairman Peter Ward.