Amazon to buy Roomba in $1.7 billion deal

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Amazon is acquiring the company that makes Roomba, the roving vacuum cleaner, in a $1.7 billion deal, the companies announced on Friday.

The all-cash acquisition values iRobot at $61 per share. The company’s stock closed at $50 on Thursday and its shares were up by about 19% in pre-market trading.

Like many electronics companies iRobot’s sales have been off this year as inflation crimps demand for gadgets, but Amazon has been investing heavily in the space.

Last year, the Seattle-based web giant launched a home security and cleaning device called the Astro Home. The robot, which costs $1,000 patrols the house for intruders while performing chores. Last year, Amazon also introduced a flying camera that combines its Ring technology with a drone to fly around customers’ home and take security footage.

A Roomba robot also costs as much as $1,000 and has been around since 2002. iRobot was founded in 1990 by engineers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. 

Colin Angle standing at his desk.
iRobot CEO, Colin Angle, will continue to lead the company after the deal is completed.
Boston Globe via Getty Images
An iRobot device on a lawn.
iRobot was launched by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1990.
AP

iRobot chief executive Colin Angle will remain at the helm of the company after the deal is completed, the companies said.

“Over many years, the iRobot team has proven its ability to reinvent how people clean with products that are incredibly practical and inventive—from cleaning when and where customers want while avoiding common obstacles in the home, to automatically emptying the collection bin,” Amazon’s senior vice president of Devices, Dave Limp said in a statement.

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