Garmin announced the news on February 11, 2016 that it had signed a purchase agreement to acquire DeLorme. Garmin produces GPS-based technologies aimed at five industry segments: Automotive/Mobile, Aviation, Marine, Outdoor, and Fitness. DeLorme is also focused in part on personal satellite tracking, messaging, and navigation technology. One of its products is its inReach series which are GPS-enabled devices that allow users the ability to send and receive satellite text messages or trigger an SOS for emergency help worldwide. The devices have been popular with seafarers and those traveling to remote areas lacking cellular service.
Based in Maine, DeLorme also produces GIS and cartographic products including the locally popular Maine Atlas & Gazetteer which serves as a guide to find remote fishing spots and trails in the state.
While the press release from Garmin states that it with “retain most of the associates of DeLorme,” the first casualty of the acquisition appears to be the closure of the map store located at DeLorme’s headquarters. The release further explains that the “Yarmouth facility will operate primarily as a research and development facility and will continue to develop two-way satellite communication devices and technologies,” a move not surprising considering that DeLorme’s inReach products accounted for half of its $20 million in revenues last year. The acquisition will not be without a legal headache as DeLorme is currently embroiled in a patent dispute with BriarTek with an appeals court recently upholding a $6.2 million fine levied by the International Trade Commission.
A fun side note is that inside the lobby at DeLorme’s Yarmouth, Maine headquarters is the world’s largest rotating globe. Named Eartha, the globe has a 41′ 1.5″ diameter and earned the title of the “largest revolving globe” by Guiness World Records.
Garmin® Signs Purchase Agreement to Acquire DeLorme®, Garmin, February 11, 2016.
Sale to Garmin means new direction for Maine mapmaker DeLorme, Portland Herald Press, February 11, 2016.