Johnson Outdoors acquires Geonav

RACINE, Wis. – Johnson Outdoors Inc. has reached agreement to acquire Geonav, a European marine electronics company. The Geonav chartplotter and marine accessories brand and assets were acquired in a stock purchase from Navionics of Viareggio, Italy, Johnson reported in a release yesterday.

Geonav’s operations will be integrated into Johnson’s existing Marine Electronics Group business unit, with Minn Kota electric motors and accessories, Humminbird fishfinders and Cannon downriggers.

Johnson said the deal reinforces its strategic focus on acquisitions that complement its businesses, expand marketplace scope and opportunity, and strengthen profitability.

“Our vision is to own the outdoor adventure with a clear focus on sustained, profitable growth by expanding our markets, our brand equities and our technology horizon through continuous innovation and targeted acquisitions,” said Helen Johnson-Leipold, chairman and CEO, Johnson Outdoors. “This acquisition will enable us to leverage our strength in innovation and branding with Geonav insight and knowledge of the European marketplace to grow all our marine electronics brands into the No. 1 position in every key country in the region.”

“Navionics is the pioneer in electronic chartplotting technology used today by leading marine electronics and boat manufacturers around the world, said Giuseppe Carnevali, founder and CEO, Navionics. “Over the years we are proud to also have built Geonav into a leading consumer chartplotter brand, which is well-suited to join the strong and growing Johnson Outdoors portfolio. With this transaction, Navionics will focus our resources on continuing to bring forward the world’s most innovative technology in marine and outdoor cartography.”

Also sold under the Geonav brand are marine autopilots, VHF radios and fishfinders. As a result of this acquisition, Johnson Outdoors now competes in eight distinct marine electronics segments, which combined represent a global marketplace opportunity of nearly $1 billion. Johnson Outdoors’ Marine Electronics Group has tripled in size over the past six years due to strong organic growth and successful strategic acquisitions. Throughout fiscal 2007, Marine Electronics Group fishing system revenues have set records, driven largely by new product innovations representing more than a third of group sales during the first three quarters of the year, the company said in its release.

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