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iRobot Signs Acquisition Agreement For Evolution Robotics, Mint Floor Cleaners

Robotic floor cleaning leader iRobot Corp. has announced the acquisition of privately-held Evolution Robotics, Inc., developer of Mint and Mint Plus automatic floor cleaning devices. The iRobot board of directors as well as the ER board and stockholders have approved a signed definitive agreement and the acquisition itself.

The acquisition, slated to close in the fourth quarter of 2012, expands iRobot’s technology leadership as the company gains intellectual property, engineering talent and new products that will broaden its global portfolio of practical robotics solutions. iRobot will acquire ER for $74 million, subject to customary purchase price adjustments, and it will use cash reserves to finance 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. Mint automatically dusts and damp mops hard surface floors using widely distributed cleaning cloths, such as Swiffer brand Dry and Wet Cloths and similar products. In 2011, ER expanded its product line with the introduction of Mint Plus, an enhanced version. ER’s website and select retailers in the United States have offered the Mint products.

In the deal, Mint provides iRobot with a complementary dry/wet floor cleaning solution ideally suited for maintenance of hard surfaces, according to the acquiring company.

“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.”

Paolo Pirjanian, CEO of Evolution Robotics, will join iRobot as chief technology officer, continuing to work from ER’s Pasadena, CA offices.

“I am very excited about Evolution Robotics and iRobot joining together as a formidable force in robotic technology, and look forward to my new role as iRobot’s CTO,” said Pirjanian in a released statement.

iRobot expects the acquisition to contribute additional revenue of $4-$6 million in 2012 and $22-$24 million in 2013, the company noted.