Amazon buys iRobot, maker of Roomba vacuum cleaners

A model of a Roomba robot vacuum cleaner is on display at iRobot’s headquarters in Bedford, Massachusetts.

Scott Eales | Bloomberg | Getty Images

Amazon acquires I am robot at $61 a share in an all-cash deal that values ​​maker Roomba at $1.7 billion, the company announced Friday.

The deal will strengthen Amazon’s presence in the consumer robotics market. Amazon made a bold bet on space last year when disclosed the Astro home robot, a $1,500 device equipped with the company’s Alexa digital assistant and capable of following consumers to their homes. It has also launched a range of smart home devices such as Ring doorbells, as well as voice-activated thermometers and microwave ovens.

“Over the years, the iRobot team has proven its ability to reinvent the way people clean with incredibly practical and inventive products, from cleaning when and where customers want, avoiding common obstacles in the home, to automatically emptying the trash can,” he said. . Dave Limp, Amazon’s Head of Hardware Devices, said, “Customers love iRobot products and I’m thrilled to be working with the iRobot team on inventions that make customers’ lives easier and more enjoyable.”

This acquisition marks Amazon’s fourth-largest deal after its $13.7 billion purchase grocery chain Whole Foods in 2017, its $8.45 billion purchase or MGM Studios last year, and her $3.9 billion acquisition or boutique primary care provider One Medical, which was announced last month.

Founded in 1990 by MIT roboticists, iRobot is best known for creating the Roomba robot vacuum cleaner, released in 2002, capable of cleaning consumer floors on its own. The company also introduced robotic mops and pool cleaners. iRobot also has a subscription program that, among other services, offers automatic equipment replenishment.

Amazon buys iRobot at a time when the robot maker is facing serious difficulties. Company informed Friday’s second-quarter results showed a 30 percent year-on-year decline in revenue, mainly due to “unanticipated order cuts, delays and cancellations” at retailers in North America and Europe, the Middle East and Africa.

iRobot became the darling of the pandemic in 2020 and 2021 as consumers spent more time at home and bought robotic vacuum cleaners to keep their homes clean. In recent quarters, his business has been hit by supply chain restrictions. iRobot said they are now overstocked due to orders from retailers “lower than expected.”

Revenue for the second quarter was $255.4 million, well short of the $303 million expected by analysts polled by Refinitiv. Its losses widened to 35 cents per share, adjusted. Analysts polled by Refinitiv had expected a loss of $1.55 per share.

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

iRobot CEO Colin Angle will continue to run the company after the deal closes.

Shares of iRobot rose more than 19% in early trading after being briefly halted after the deal was announced. Amazon shares fell more than 1%.

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