Navman founder Sir Peter Maire's Fusion Electronics has been sold to US navigation device giant Garmin.

Maire is understood to be in Europe and could not be reached for comment yesterday, but Fusion Electronics chief executive Chris Baird confirmed the sale.

Garmin reportedly paid around $20 million for the Auckland-based company, which produces audio systems for cars, campervans and boats.

Baird declined to comment on the sale price, saying: "That's something that Garmin's holding to themselves."


Fusion Electronics had been renamed Fusion Entertainment on July 1, he added.

Maire's Tahia Investments held a 90 per cent stake in the audio electronics maker, while Baird and associated interests held an 8 per cent stake, according to the Companies Office.

Fusion Electronics was seeing strong sales growth and earning more than $30 million in annual revenue, Maire told the Business Herald last year.

Baird said Maire had retained a major shareholding in Invenco, formerly known as Fusion Transactive, which provides payment technology for petrol stations.

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.