Shah Capital buys Thales Navigation, owner of car navigation product Magellan, for $170M

This is the just the latest deal in the car navigation sector, which is hot right now.

You may have seen our story about Dash, the sexy car navigation system that will supposedly give you an always-on Internet connection, but has yet to be released.

Now Shah Capital Partners, a Santa Clara buyout firm has acquired an incumbent navigation device manufacturer, Thales Navigation, and moved the company’s headquarters to Santa Clara — not far from Dash’s own headquarters.

Shah paid $170M to buy the division from Thales, a French company. Magellan is the name of Thales Navigation’s series of GPS-based navigation products, such as the RoadMate in-car product and the Hertz NeverLost system. Magellan used to be based in San Dimas, but with this transaction moves to the valley.

We talked with Gerald Hwasta, a partner at Shah, about how Magellan will respond to Dash’s Internet-based device. He said: “Magellan is investigating similar concepts and could potentially collaborate.”