Brunswick Corporation has acquired 70% of the stock of Navman NZ Limited, a New Zealand-based leader in global positioning systems (GPS)-based products and marine electronics, for total consideration of approximately $33 million.

The purchase price includes the payment of cash and the assumption of approximately $1 million of net debt. Brunswick said it has an option to acquire the remaining shares of Navman by the end of 2005.

Navman will remain in Auckland, New Zealand, operating under the auspices of Brunswick New Technologies (BNT), which was formed by Brunswick in 2002 to focus on developing growth initiatives in software and marine electronics applications.

“Navman becomes an integral part of our growing presence in the marine electronics market,” explained George W. Buckley, Brunswick Corporation chairman and chief executive officer. “Navigation and related electronics are a key piece of the puzzle of how to enhance the piloting experience and living environments on a boat. Like Northstar Technologies, which we acquired in 2002, Navman complements our thrust into marine-based electronics and integration. We believe marine electronics, integrated with boat and engine technologies, will ultimately make boating simpler and more enjoyable for our customers. The longer-term opportunities provided by this acquisition are huge.”

“Navman has a particularly fresh and innovative marine product line, with nearly all of their products having been recently introduced,” said T.J. Chung, president of BNT. “We believe BNT will greatly benefit from Navman’s product portfolio. In addition, we intend to leverage Brunswick’s global presence to help Navman enhance its product line and current distribution. We believe Brunswick’s marine leadership creates tremendous synergies for Navman’s marine electronics business. Navman will benefit from Brunswick’s financial strengths to further grow its business, which will continue to be directed from its Auckland headquarters.”

“Navman will continue to design, manufacture and introduce new GPS technology-based products from New Zealand,” said Peter Maire, the founder of Navman who will continue as its president. “It is a case of business as usual for Navman, except that business will be faster, bigger and better with Brunswick.”