Minnetonka-based PeopleNet Acquired by Trimble

PeopleNet, which provides mobile communications systems for the trucking industry, was sold by Norwest Equity Partners to California-based Trimble Navigation Limited.

Minneapolis-based Norwest Equity Partners (NEP), a middle market investment firm, recently sold Minnetonka-based PeopleNet-a major technology provider of onboard computing and mobile communications to the transportation industry-to Trimble Navigation Limited.

Trimble, based in Sunnyvale, California, will operate PeopleNet within its mobile solutions segment to meet the demands of Trimble's growing national and international customer base. The deal closed on August 5, according to Norwest.

“PeopleNet is a key step in Trimble's strategy for addressing the complex regulatory and operational demands of enterprise companies in the transportation and logistics (T&L) market,” Steven W. Berglund, Trimble's president and CEO, said in a statement.

PeopleNet founder and CEO Ron Konezny said in a statement: “Trimble provides PeopleNet with significant additional scope that will allow us to build on our tradition of customer-driven innovation and expand delivery of products and services by improving the performance and functionality of our existing and future offerings.”

PeopleNet provides software and hardware for the fleet industry that helps manage regulatory compliance, fuel costs, driver safety, and customer visibility. The company says its products are used by approximately 1,500 fleets of various types and more than 100,000 subscribers in the United States and Canada.

PeopleNet reported revenue of more than $5 million in 2010 and has 185 employees in Minnesota.