Garmin buys Maine-based GPS products company DeLorme

Swiss-based Garmin Ltd. is buying DeLorme, a Maine company that produces maps and hand-held satellite communications.

The companies made the announcement Thursday. Garmin, whose operating headquarters is in Olathe, will acquire “substantially all” of DeLorme’s assets, the announcement said.

Financial terms were not disclosed.

DeLorme will become a Garmin subsidiary based in Yarmouth, Maine, and will retain most of its 92 workers under the deal, which is expected to close in 30 to 60 days.

The Maine company will continue producing maps and its state-specific “Atlas and Gazetteer” series but will close its map store at the Yarmouth headquarters, said Kim Stiver, DeLorme’s vice president of marketing.

DeLorme was an early pioneer of Global Positioning System technology, and its current flagship product is a hand-held, two-way satellite communication device that works anywhere in the world, allowing users to trigger an SOS and send and receive text messages by satellite.

“DeLorme is a respected brand with exciting products and technologies that are a natural fit in the Garmin portfolio,” Cliff Pemble, Garmin’s president and chief executive, said in a statement.

The family of DeLorme founder David DeLorme controls the company board and approved the deal, Stiver said.

DeLorme will operate primarily as a research and development center and will continue to develop two-way satellite communication technologies, officials said.

Garmin is known for its product line based on the Global Positioning System.