Garmin Ltd said it signed a deal to buy Germany-based navigation provider Navigon AG for an undisclosed sum as it looks to expand in Europe.

Navigon will operate as a unit of Garmin, and should help the No. 1 U.S. navigation device maker compete against Dutch rival TomTom .

We can rapidly expand our automotive OEM footprint and capabilities through this transaction, Garmin's Chief Operation Officer Cliff Pemble said in a statement.

Garmin and TomTom have struggled for more than a year as Google Inc and Nokia started to offer free navigation on mobile devices.

Navigon, which has popular navigation applications for Apple Inc's iPhone and Google's Android platforms, will help drive revenue for the combined company, Garmin said in a statement.

Garmin shares were up 1 percent at $32.83 in afternoon trade on Tuesday on Nasdaq.

(Reporting by Saqib Iqbal Ahmed in Bangalore and Tarmo Virki in Helsinki; Editing by Don Sebastian)