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Logitech ends negotiations toward acquiring Plantronics

Logitech ends negotiations toward acquiring Plantronics

The Swiss computer periphery manufacturer ended its discussions to acquire the US manufacturer of Bluetooth earpieces and gaming headsets

The announcements came after Reuters initially reported that Logitech and Plantronics were in negotiations. The companies confirmed the talks on Sunday, but said that they had now been terminated.

Plantronics had added in a statement that Logitech approached it regarding a potential acquisition, and that it engaged in discussions in line with its fiduciary duties. It stated that it would deliver on its strategy as a stand-alone company.

“I have been and remain tremendously optimistic about the opportunity in front of us, and with our focused strategy and leadership team, I am confident that Plantronics will create significant long term value for shareholders,” Plantronics Chief Executive Joe Burton said in the statement.

Both companies were hoping to successfully conclude negotiations this week, but Logitech’s board decided on Sunday to walk away from the potential deal, according to people familiar with the matter who requested anonymity to discuss the confidential discussions.

The negotiations were ended by Logitech’s board over price disagreements, according to a source close to the company. That was despite Plantronics having opened its books to Logitech on the basis of an offer by Logitech that was well in excess of $3bn, added three of the sources.

Plantronics had a market capitalisation of about $2bn as of last week.

The deal would have been Logitech’s largest acquisition by far, amid a push to diversify its business beyond computer peripherals. It would have arrived at a time when both companies were seeking to keep down manufacturing costs following the introduction of tariffs on imports from China into the United States.

Logitech’s and Plantronics’ businesses have been under pressure as a result of new offerings being developed, not just from network gear makers such as Cisco Systems, but from major technology companies such as Microsoft and Google owner Alphabet.

Founded in 1981, Logitech has been countering declining sales of personal computers by focusing on consumer accessories that are benefiting from the growth of cloud computing, such as gaming, music, smart home connectivity and video conferencing. It has a market capitalization of $5.6bn. Last year, it acquired ASTRO Gaming for $85mn in cash to expand in the video game sector.

Santa Cruz, California-based Plantronics makes unified communications systems, wireless headsets, conferencing systems, and some software, which it sells to businesses and consumers. Founded in 1961, Plantronics’ first products were lightweight headsets for airline pilots. It later sold headsets to the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, including the ones worn by Neil Armstrong during his first moonwalk in 1969.

A sale of Plantronics would have come on the heels of the company’s $2bn acquisition in July of US video-conferencing equipment maker Polycom. 

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