Sunday, March 18, 2012

Garmin Acquires DeLorme


DeLorme, previously a private company, has been acquired by Garmin Ltd. This was completed in April of this year. DeLorme designs satellite tracking devices with two-way communication and navigation features. The company’s most well know products are its inReach series, which are GPS-enabled devices that allow users to send and receive texts, or an emergency SOS signal, via satellite from anywhere in the world.

“Our inReach technology is invaluable to hikers, hunters, boaters, and pilots who often find themselves in remote areas – Garmin’s core customers. We are looking forward to completing the acquisition and are excited to help leverage our expertise into enhancing their already outstanding products,” said Michael Heffron, CEO of DeLorme. Heffron went on to say the acquisition will expand DeLorme’s consumer base to more markets than they are used to, since Garmin has a global distribution network.

More good news for DeLorme; Garmin has kept most of the associates on staff and DeLorme is continuing operations in its Maine facility. The site is primarily a research and development facility used to create two-way satellite communication devices and cartographic solutions.

Aside from developing its satellite devices, DeLorme also prides itself on the basic foundation of the company—a map collection called the Maine Atlas & Gazetteer, first developed in 1976. While Garmin did decide to close the main map store in DeLorme’s headquarters, resulting in a few lost jobs, the company still sells atlases through Walmart and various map stores across the country.

“DeLorme is a respected brand with exciting products and technologies that are a natural fit in the Garmin portfolio…” said Garmin’s president and CEO, Cliff Pemble. “We are looking forward to leveraging their expertise to further enhance the Garmin lineup of products.”

Garmin has been around for a quarter of the century, and consists of five major business categories: automotive, aviation, fitness, marine and outdoor recreation. The acquisition of DeLorme should easily work to extend the abilities in all of those categories at the benefit of their consumers.


  1. I was greatly disappointed when I went to the Delorme Topo program to re-up the map subscription for my hiking GPS, and learned that the company had been acquired by Swiss conglomerate Garmin, and will no longer sell maps for Delorme PN units. My $300 PN-40 unit is now an expensive paperweight. Now if you try to buy a handheld GPS unit, I find you have the choice of Garmin, Garmin, or Garmin. It’s ironic, that the US, which put up most of the satellites and invented GPS, has allowed the handheld GPS market to be monopolized offshore. I remember when we used to have antitrust laws in the US. Clearly I’m showing my age.

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