Amazon acquires iRobot from Roomba in $1.7 billion deal

Suspension

The companies announced Friday that Amazon will acquire iRobot in an all-cash deal worth $1.7 billion, expanding the e-commerce giant’s portfolio of robotic and smart home devices.

The acquisition of a $61 stake in iRobot — best known for its Roomba robotic vacuum — highlights Amazon’s continued drive home. From wearable fitness devices to streaming devices to its Alexa digital assistant, Amazon has developed a range of devices within an ecosystem that connects consumers more tightly with the company and its services. Last year it introduced Astro, a $1,000+ bot that aims to move small items and keep its cameras peeled for intruders.

The proposed transaction is also a continuation of Amazon’s business strategy to expand market share in various product categories through acquisitions. Video doorbell maker Ring and home security product Blink have merged with Amazon as the company expands its list of home-centric gadgets and offerings. (Amazon founder Jeff Bezos owns The Washington Post.)

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The planned deal comes just two weeks after Amazon announced it was buying primary care provider One Medical for $3.9 billion, in a major expansion of the tech company’s healthcare ambitions. One of the largest acquisitions ever, the engagement will give Amazon a physical network of healthcare offices and providers, and bolster the company’s existing healthcare portfolio, which includes an online pharmacy and Amazon Care, a virtual, urgent at-home care service.

Shares of iRobot rose about 20 percent after the announcement on Friday morning.

“We know that saving time is important, and that chores take up valuable time that can be better spent doing something customers love,” said Dave Limp, senior vice president of Amazon devices. “Over many years, the iRobot team has proven their ability to reinvent the way people clean with incredibly practical and innovative products.”

Amazon’s bid of $61 per share represents a premium of more than 20 percent for iRobot.

Founded in 1990 by robotics professionals from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, iRobot offers a line of robotic vacuums and mops, as well as air purifiers and handheld vacuums. Its signature Roomba, which retails for up to $1,000, recognizes the contours and angles of floors and can detect objects, providing connectivity to Wifi networks and smartphones and can be summoned by voice-activated smart home devices. The company began trading on the Nasdaq stock exchange in 2005.

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