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Amazon to buy Roomba-maker iRobot for US$1.7B, growing smart home device collection

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Amazon.com Inc AMZN.O will acquire the maker of robot vacuum cleaner iRobot Corp IRBT.O in an all-cash deal for about $1.7 billion, in the latest push by the world’s largest online retailer to add to its cart of smart home devices.

Amazon will pay $61 per share, valuing iRobot at a premium of 22% from the stock’s last closing price of $49.99.

At its peak, the Roomba maker traded at $197.4 as hygiene-conscious consumers invested in premium robot vacuum cleaners during pandemic lockdowns.

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Besides sweeping up dirt, the Roomba vacuums that costs as much as $1,000 collect spatial data on households that could prove valuable to companies developing so-called smart home technology.

However, iRobot’s second-quarter revenue fell 30% due to weak demand and cancellations from retailers in North America and Europe, Middle East and Africa as consumers rethink how they spend their money during rising inflation.

Analysts have said cash-rich big technology companies could get on an M&A spree, taking advantage of low valuations due to growth pressures. Amazon is sitting on cash and cash-equivalents of over $37 billion as of the second quarter.

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Devices make up for a fraction of the overall sales of Amazon, which sells smart thermostats, security devices, wall mounted smart display and had recently launched a canine-like robot called Astro.

In case the deal is terminated, Amazon would be required to pay iRobot a termination fee of $94 million. On completion of the deal, Colin Angle will remain as the chief executive of iRobot.

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

(Reporting by Akash Sriram and Nivedita Balu in Bengaluru; Editing by Arun Koyyur)

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