Amazon & iRobot Alter Takeover Deal as EU Review Puts Merger in Limbo




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Amazon changed the terms of its deal to buy iRobot after the robot vacuum maker took on debt to continue operating as the two companies await the results of an EU antitrust investigation into the combination. 

Amazon said that it would now pay $51.75 a share, below the original $61-per-share price, to account for $200 million in new debt the maker of the Roomba is taking on as a result of the wait for the deal’s approval. Amazon will pay this debt down when the companies merge.

The deal, announced in August, was supposed to cement Amazon’s position as a smart home device maker, marrying the Roomba line of robot vacuums with its own family of smart speakers, displays and security cameras. But the combination has run into a wall after the EU launched its investigation. 

The EU believes the deal would strengthen Amazon’s position and reduce competition, according to Reuters

iRobot, meanwhile, is left sitting in limbo, which left it to seek financing. 

“iRobot is taking on new financing that we believe is sufficient to support our operations in a hyper-competitive environment and meet our liquidity needs as well as pay off iRobot’s existing debt,” said Colin Angle, Chairman and CEO of iRobot. “This new financing is the outcome of a thorough process and represents the best terms reasonably obtainable on additional financing to support our operations.”

Amazon expressed its support for iRobot. “As we said when we announced the merger last August, customers love iRobot products and we’re excited to work with them to invent ways that make customers’ lives easier and more enjoyable,” said Dave Limp, Senior Vice President of Amazon Devices.

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