In a transaction valued at $45 million, iRobot has sold its Defense and Security division to Arlington Capital Partners. Sean Bielat, who takes over as the CEO, says the new company will be the largest independent provider of ground-based robots to the Department of Defense.
The new stand-alone privately-held company will focus entirely on the needs of defense, public safety and security. Existing iRobot management and staff will move over to the new company which will remain in Bedford, MA. Since inception, more than 6,000 of these four robots have been delivered to customers worldwide: the FirstLook, SUGV, PackBot and Kobra.
The divestiture ends iRobot's dual focus on the military and consumer markets and ends a multi-year revenue slide in this division, albeit a strategically planned transition, as the Iraq and Afghanistan wars wound down. Colin Angle, iRobot Chairman and CEO, said:
In the spring of 2014, we engaged Blackstone Advisory Partners LP, now known as PJT Partners, to review strategic alternatives for our Defense and Security business. After a thorough and deliberate process, we've concluded the sale of the business to Arlington Capital Partners will maximize shareholder value by allowing us to focus on our much larger Home segment.
iRobot, a publicly-traded company on the NASDAQ Exchange, will take advantage of the momentum it has achieved in the consumer marketplace, particularly with their Roomba line of robotic vacuums, and plans to develop new technologies for the connected home.
With 14 million robots in people's homes today and the leading market share within the robotic floor care segment, iRobot has revolutionized the way people clean. The divestiture of the Defense & Security business will allow us to focus on the Home Robots business, bring new products to market, continue our expansion in China and build upon successful new marketing campaigns. We are confident that our strategy of focusing on the home will position iRobot for continued growth and success.
Peter Manos, a Managing Partner at Arlington Capital, commented:
We look forward to further consolidating [iRobot's Defense & Security Division] preeminent position in robotics through organic investment and acquisitions. Arlington Capital is pleased to be partnering with the iRobot Defense & Security team on this divestiture to create a new and focused robotics platform.