Amazon buys robot vacuum cleaner maker iRobot for about $1.7 billion

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Amazon’s connected device shopping cart grows with $1.7 billion deal for Roomba maker

Amazon.com Inc will acquire robot vacuum maker iRobot Corp in a cash deal for about $1.7 billion, in the latest effort by the world’s largest online retailer to add to its shopping cart of smart home devices.

Amazon is paying $61 per share, valuing iRobot at a 22 percent premium over the stock’s latest closing price of $49.99.

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At its peak, the Roomba maker traded for $197.4 when hygiene-conscious consumers invested in premium robot vacuums during pandemic lockdowns.

In addition to sweeping up debris, the Roomba vacuums, which cost as much as $1,000, collect spatial data about households that could be valuable to companies developing so-called smart home technology.

However, iRobot’s second-quarter revenue declined 37% due to weak demand and cancellations from retailers in North America and Europe, the Middle East and Africa as consumers rethink how they spend their money amid rising prices. inflation.

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Analysts have said that large cash-rich tech companies could face a merger and acquisition wave by taking advantage of low valuations due to growth pressures. Amazon is sitting on cash and cash equivalents of more than $37 billion as of the second quarter.

Devices make up a fraction of the total sales of Amazon, which sells smart thermostats, security devices, wall-mounted smart displays and recently launched a dog-like robot called Astro.

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If the deal is terminated, Amazon will have to pay iRobot a $94 million termination fee. Colin Angle will remain the CEO of iRobot after the deal closes.

Amazon is also buying primary care provider One Medical for $3.49 billion, expanding the e-commerce giant’s virtual healthcare and adding physical doctor’s offices for the first time.

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