Tech

Amazon is acquiring iRobot, the maker of Roomba vacuum cleaners

Amazon is acquiring iRobot for $61 a share in a deal that values ​​the Roomba maker at $1.7 billion, the companies announced Friday.

The deal will deepen Amazon’s presence in consumer robotics. Amazon made a bold bet on the space last year when it introduced the Astro home robot, a $1,449.99 device that is equipped with the company’s digital assistant Alexa and can follow consumers around their homes. It also offers a variety of smart home devices, such as connected doorbells after acquiring Ring in 2018, as well as voice-activated thermometers and microwaves.

“Over the years, the iRobot team has proven its ability to reinvent the way people clean with products that are incredibly practical and inventive — from cleaning when and where customers want, avoiding common obstacles around the home, to automatically emptying the trash. tank,” Dave Limp, Amazon’s head of hardware, said in a statement. “Customers love iRobot products — and I’m excited to work with the iRobot team to invent ways that make customers’ lives easier and more enjoyable.”

The acquisition is Amazon’s fourth-largest after its $13.7 billion purchase of grocery chain Whole Foods in 2017, its $8.45 billion purchase of movie studio MGM last year, and its $3.9 billion acquisition of boutique primary care provider One Medical dollars announced last month. .

Founded in 1990 by MIT roboticists, iRobot is best known for Roomba, a robotic vacuum cleaner released in 2002 that can autonomously clean consumers’ floors. It also introduced robotic mops and pool cleaners. iRobot also has a subscription program that offers automatic equipment refills, among other services.

Roomba robot vacuum on display at iRobot headquarters in Bedford, Massachusetts

Scott Ills | Bloomberg | Getty Images

Amazon is buying iRobot at a time when the robot maker faces extensive headwinds. On Friday, the company reported second-quarter results that showed a 30% year-over-year drop in revenue, mainly due to “unanticipated order reductions, delays and cancellations” from retailers in North America and Europe, the Middle East and Africa. .

iRobot became a darling of the Covid pandemic in 2020 and 2021 as consumers spent more time at home and purchased robot vacuum cleaners to keep their homes clean. Its business has been hit by supply chain constraints in recent quarters. iRobot said it is now overstocked amid “lower-than-expected” orders from retailers.

Second-quarter revenue was $255.4 million, well short of the $303 million expected by analysts polled by Refinitiv. Its loss widened to an adjusted 35 cents a share. Analysts polled by Refinitiv had expected a loss of $1.55 per share.

iRobot has said it will cut about 140 jobs, or 10% of its workforce, as it faces rising costs and falling revenue.

iRobot CEO Colin Engle will continue to lead the company after the deal closes.

The deal will require approval from regulators and iRobot shareholders.

Shares of iRobot rose 19% on Friday after being briefly halted after the deal was announced. Amazon shares closed up 1%.

Correction: Amazon acquired Ring in 2018. An earlier version said its status.

WATCH: Amazon will acquire One Medical for approximately $3.9 billion

Amazon is acquiring iRobot, the maker of Roomba vacuum cleaners

Source link Amazon is acquiring iRobot, the maker of Roomba vacuum cleaners

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