iRobot Corp. (NASDAQ: IRBT), a leader in delivering robotic technology-based solutions, today announced it has signed a definitive agreement to acquire privately-held Evolution Robotics, Inc. (ER), developer of Mint ® and Mint ® Plus automatic floor cleaning robots, based in Pasadena, California. The acquisition and the definitive agreement have been approved by the board of directors of iRobot and the board of directors and stockholders of ER. The acquisition, which is expected to close in the fourth quarter of 2012, expands iRobot’s technology leadership through a combination of intellectual property, engineering talent and new products that will broaden iRobot’s global portfolio of practical robotics solutions. iRobot will acquire ER for $74 million, subject to customary purchase price adjustments. iRobot will use its cash reserves to pay for the acquisition.
ER’s technology originated in 2001 in a technology company incubator. In 2010, ER launched Mint ®, an automatic floor cleaning robot designed exclusively for hard surface floors, which offers a different approach to cleaning than iRobot’s current products. Mint automatically dusts and damp mops hard surface floors using popular cleaning cloths, such as Swiffer ® brand Dry and Wet Cloths and other similar products. In 2011, ER expanded its product line with the introduction of Mint ® Plus, an enhanced version. Both products have been available for purchase on ER’s website and from select U.S. retailers. Mint ® provides iRobot with a complementary dry/wet floor cleaning solution ideally suited for maintenance of hard surfaces. Positive customer experience has driven strong revenue growth since its first product introduction in 2010. Mint ® provides lower market entry points for customers with hard floors.
“Evolution Robotics’ products will expand our automated floor care offerings while its technology and intellectual property will bring visual navigation and simultaneous localization and mapping, among other technologies, which could be deployed in future iRobot products to deliver greater customer value,” said Colin Angle, iRobot chairman and CEO. “There are tremendous opportunities to leverage the strength of the iRobot brand and our sales and distribution network to expand Mint product sales around the world. Robotic floor cleaners are one of the fastest growing consumer products in the past few years and our retailers and distributors welcome opportunities to fuel that growth.”