Christopher Adams

The Business Herald’s markets and banking reporter.

I'm still in business, says Peter Maire

Navman founder Sir Peter Maire says he's still in business, despite a report earlier this week that he was offloading all business interests and donating proceeds to charity. Photo / Richard Robinson.
Navman founder Sir Peter Maire says he's still in business, despite a report earlier this week that he was offloading all business interests and donating proceeds to charity. Photo / Richard Robinson.

Navman founder Sir Peter Maire says recent media comments that he is "done with the business world" were made in jest and he is not offloading all of his commercial interests and donating the proceeds to charity.

Maire recently sold his audio systems firm, Fusion Electronics, to United States navigation device maker Garmin.

Through his Tahia Investments vehicle he still owns a majority stake in Invenco - formerly known as Fusion Transactive, which provides payment technology for petrol stations - and a roughly 5 per cent stake in NZX-listed technology company Rakon. He has a seat on Rakon's board and is also a director of Callaghan Innovation, the Government's high-tech business development body.

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Maire was quoted in a media report on Monday as saying: "I am done with the business world. I've started, built up and sold half a dozen companies and am now retired from the game. I'm living in Croatia on my boat. The rest of my life is now to be devoted to my family."

The report also said Maire was selling off all his commercial interests, with the proceeds to go to charities.

The article prompted some earnest online comments from well-known technology commentators, who wished the tech entrepreneur well for the future.

Maire told the Herald he made the comments after being approached by a journalist who was compiling information about wealthy New Zealanders.

"So I told him I sold all my companies and gave all the money to charity," he said. "In other words I politely told him to F off."

Maire said he was still working with Rakon and Invenco was "cranking" after winning a contract with Shell for pay at pump terminals, which were currently being rolled out in Malaysia and Singapore.

"Otherwise I am making the most of the summer here in Croatia and being able to visit all our business partners while in Europe," he said. "Nothing has changed other than by selling Fusion [Electronics] I have more time to enjoy life."

Maire started Navman in his garage in 1986 and sold the firm to North American conglomerate Brunswick in 2004 for $108 million.

Brunswick later broke up the navigation technology maker's divisions and sold them off separately.

Maire bought into Fusion about five years ago and diversified the company into new market segments such as marine.

- NZ Herald

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