Amazon’s basket of connected devices expands with $1.7 billion deal for Roomba maker

Amazon.com Inc is to acquire robot vacuum maker iRobot Corp in an all-cash deal for around $1.7 billion, in the world’s largest online retailer’s latest push to add to its basket of smart home devices.

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

At its peak, the maker Roomba traded at $197.4 as hygiene-conscious consumers invested in high-end robot vacuums during pandemic shutdowns.

In addition to sweeping up dirt, Roomba vacuums that cost up to $1,000 collect household spatial data that could prove valuable to companies developing so-called smart home technology.

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

Analysts have said big, cash-rich tech companies could embark on a merger and acquisition spree, taking advantage of low valuations due to growth pressures. Amazon has cash and cash equivalents of more than $37 billion in the second quarter.

The devices represent a fraction of overall sales for Amazon, which sells smart thermostats, security devices, a wall-mounted smart display and recently launched a dog-like robot called Astro.

If the agreement is terminated, Amazon would be required to pay iRobot a termination fee of $94 million. Once the deal closes, Colin Angle will remain as iRobot’s chief executive.

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

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