Amazon to acquire maker of Roomba vacuum for roughly $1.7 billion

Roboticists from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology started iRobot in 1990. The company is best known for making the Roomba, a robot vacuum that can clean floors on its own.

Amazon is buying iRobot for $61 per share. This is an all-cash deal, which means that the company that makes Roombas is worth $1.7 billion.
The deal will give Amazon a stronger position in the consumer robotics market. Amazon made a big bet on the space last year when it released the Astro home robot, a $1,500 device that can follow people around their homes and is equipped with the company’s Alexa digital assistant. It has also released a number of smart home devices, such as the Ring doorbell and thermometers and microwaves that can be controlled by voice.
Dave Limp, who is in charge of Amazon’s hardware devices, said in a statement, “Over many years, the iRobot team has shown that it can change the way people clean by making products that are very useful and creative, like cleaning when and where customers want while avoiding common obstacles in the home and automatically emptying the collection bin.” “Customers love iRobot products, and I’m excited to work with the iRobot team to come up with ways to make customers’ lives easier and more fun.”

The deal is Amazon’s fourth largest, after its $13.7 billion purchase of grocery store chain Whole Foods in 2017, its $8.45 billion purchase of movie studio MGM last year, and its $3.9 billion purchase of primary care provider One Medical, which was announced last month.
Roboticists from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology started iRobot in 1990. The company is best known for making the Roomba, a robotic vacuum that has been on the market since 2002 and can clean floors by itself. Since then, it has made robotic vacuums and cleaners for pools. iRobot also has a subscription programme that, among other things, automatically sends new equipment when it runs out.

Once the deal is done, iRobot CEO Colin Angle will keep running the business.
Shares of iRobot went up by more than 18% before the market opened, after being briefly halted after the deal was announced. About 0.5% of Amazon’s stock was lost.

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