Fitbit to Acquire Pebble for $40 Million Or Less

Dec 01, 2016 10:14 AM EST
Companies acquire one another for a simple reason -- the technology and expertise is already there, and the infrastructure is in place. Fitbit sees something in Pebble and might acquire them for $34 to $40 million.
A fitness band/smartwatch for $249. Fitbit

The corporate industry is a dog-eat-dog world, and capitalism certainly brings out the competitive spirit among different factions. From time to time, we do hear of one company stumping out a huge amount of money in order to pick up another. If you were to purchase your rivals, you basically win twice over. Firstly, you would have eliminated your rival from the race, and secondly, you would have now gained all the assets and strengths of your competition to go one up over the rest. Word on the street has it that Fitbit#mce_temp_url# is lining up a deal in the region of $34 to $40 million in order to acquire Pebble, the company that makes smartwatches.

The Information claims that Fitbit has keen interest in the smartwatch manufacturer Pebble, and the price at which Fitbit has reportedly proposed is not much at all. After all, Pebble still has a fair amount of debt to cover where its suppliers are concerned. While the exact figure of Pebble’s debts have not been accounted for, some say that at least $25 million is required -- which would mean that Fitbit’s offer price is not going to allow much leeway for golden parachutes of any sort.

It also does not come across as a surprise that Pebble has been on the lookout for a buyer for quite some time already, no thanks to their cashflow problems. After all, Pebble did shed its workforce by a quarter earlier this March in an austerity act, hoping that they will be able to steady the ship and smoothen out the wrinkles in due time, but to no avail.


Not only that, it appears that Pebble was on the receiving end of improved offers in the past, but those days of crazy money are long gone. Citizen was said to have offered up to a whopping $740 million for Pebble just last year, but Pebble backed off from that offer. In hindsight, we can say that the refusal to sell back then was a foolish one, but who can really predict the future? After all, the Pebble Time Round failed rather miserably after it was released, and even after that, Intel did lay an offer of $70 million thereabouts on the table, should Pebble refrain from launching the Pebble 2 and Pebble Time 2 Kickstarter campaign. History tells us that Pebble roughed it out as well, and here we are with a $40 million offer at best. Certainly this is a far cry from the $0.75 billion offer from Citizen in 2015! How things have changed in a matter of slightly more than a year.

Now if the acquisition goes through, what then, of the offerings from Pebble? The Information claims that all of the Pebble devices will be phased out eventually, as Fitbit is just interested in Pebble’s technologies as well as its operating system. That would mean whatever working Pebbles that you have right now will end up as rare pieces in the future, so you might want to make the most of it and wear it well just in case a collector wants one a couple of decades down the road.

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