UPDATE: It seems like the deal is off, Logitech has confirmed to TechCrunch.
Swiss electronics giant Logitech is presently negotiating a potential acquisition of American audio equipment manufacturer Plantronics, Reuters reports, citing sources familiar with the situation. The deal is understood to be valued at over $2.2 billion, hence being some 20 times more valuable than Logitech’s largest M&A move to date – this year’s purchase of Blue Microphones which set the company back about $117 million. Logitech’s latest bid represents a slight premium over Plantronics’ current market cap of $2 billion but it’s presently unclear whether the management at the Santa Cruz, California-based company is planning to push for more money. Several insiders claim the talks are in an advanced phase and the deal may even be reached next week. Such a turn of events would likely mark a larger B2B push on Logitech’s part, though not even the approximate terms of the alleged agreement are currently known.
Background: Both Logitech and Plantronics have been in the consumer electronics business for a long time, having been founded in 1981 and 1961, respectively. As the two firms are publicly traded in the United States, the gist of their financials is public knowledge, with their latest consolidated reports revealing that Logitech trumps Plantronics in terms of annual revenue, generating some $2.57 billion per year as opposed to $865 million. The companies are much more similar in terms of headcounts – Logitech employs approximately 7,000 people on a global level, whereas Plantronics’ workforce is roughly 3,800 strong. The Swiss firm has a much more diversified portfolio, dealing in everything from keyboards and mice to headphones and all other kinds of computer peripherals. Their market caps are representative of that fact, with Plantronics currently being valued at some $5.6 billion, more than double Plantronics’ valuation of $2 billion.
While Logitech has been rather frugal on the M&A front ever since its establishment, Plantronics has a track record of willingness to spend money. This July, the firm acquired Polycom, an American manufacturer of teleconferencing equipment, having paid approximately $2 billion for the purchase. Both Logitech and Plantronics have recently been fending off increased competition in the consumer electronics segment as established technology giants such as Apple, Google, Samsung, and Microsoft started showing greater interest in developing computer accessories and all kinds of gadgets. Due to that state of affairs, a potential merger is not outside of the realm of possibility, with consolidations being one of the most commonly used strategies aimed at combating rising competition in modern economies.
Impact: A potential tie-up between Logitech and Plantronics could help the two mount a fiercer push against additional competition in the consumer electronics segment that’s been rising over the last several years. The deal is unlikely to have major near-term consequences, save for benefitting Plantronics’ stock; even the very possibility of the thereof already did so, with the firm rising by nearly two points to $50.96 on Friday after the original report on the potential consolidation emerged. In the context of the next several months, both Plantronics and Logitech are likely to post improved commercial results, with the holiday season traditionally being the most lucrative period of the year for consumer electronics companies.