Amazon.com Inc is ready to acquire iRobot Corp, the creator of the robotic vacuum cleaner Roomba for $1.7 billion in cash, in the latest effort by the world’s largest online retailer to extend its collection of smart home gadgets. In Friday trade, iRobot’s shares increased 19% to $59.66.
Amazon will pay $61 per share, putting iRobot at a 22% premium over its previous closing price. Amazon already has Alexa, its virtual assistant; Ring, which it purchased to improve home security; and a smart thermostat. Amazon stated that it will continue to provide iRobot goods to other merchants and maintain them compatible with the voice assistants of other firms.
Analysts predict that technology firms would go on an M&A binge to take advantage of low values caused by growth pressures. Amazon now has more than $37 billion in cash and cash equivalents and announced a plan to acquire primary care provider One Medical last month.