TLDR: Amazon, in a surprise announcement, said it had agreed to acquire iRobot maker Roomba. The all-cash transaction is valued at approximately $1.7 billion, or $61 per share, and represents a 22 percent premium over iRobot’s closing price of $49.99 at Thursday’s close.
to deal with gives Amazon a stronger foothold in robots. Last year, the e-commerce giant launched a consumer home robot called Astro Designed for use as a mobile security camera, entertainment center and communication tool.
The Wi-Fi-connected Snapdragon-powered bot features stereo speakers, dual cameras, a 10-inch touchscreen, and even a USB-C port. Astro can only be bought by invitation and will cost you $999.99 during the current trial period. After that, expect to pay $1,449.99 for an opportunity that Not all thinks it’s ready for a mainstream audience.
Amazon has also invested in other gadgets designed to make life easier, such as Doorbell and plenty of Alexa-powered speakers. However, Amazon’s acquisition of iRobot is significantly larger than its acquisition of Ring and represents one of the biggest moves by newly minted CEO Andy Jassi, who replaced founder Jeff Bezos at the helm just over a year ago.
Dave Limp, senior vice president of Amazon Devices, said they are excited to work with the iRobot team on inventions that will make life easier and more enjoyable for customers.
iRobot was founded back in 1990 by Colin Angle, Rodney Brooks, and Helen Greiner, who previously worked at MIT’s Artificial Intelligence Lab. Its first robot vacuum cleaners for consumers appeared in 2002, and the company went public in 2005. iRobot also has a line of hard floor cleaning robots and have added many features to their vacuum cleaners including automatic emptying of the dust container.
As usual, the deal will be subject to customary closing conditions, including shareholder and regulatory approval. We were told that iRobot’s Colin Angle would remain CEO after the acquisition.
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