Fitbit Inc said on Monday that it had agreed to sell itself to Alphabet Inc’s Google unit for $2.1 billion, as the wearable device maker’s shares dropped 42 percent to a decade low.
Fitbit To Expand In New Areas After Google Buy Out
Fitbit said it would use the net proceeds from the deal to pay down debt and “to fund the Company’s operations and its investments, and to expand into new growth areas.”
Fitbit Technology Behind The Times
Fitbit, which went public in 2015, has struggled as its devices became outdated, while rivals such as Xiaomi also managed to turn out smartwatches and continue to grow sales.
Fitbit, with its stock price sinking 90 percent over the past 12 months, has a cash balance of $1.32 billion.
Filing For Bankruptcy & Restructuring The Business
The company also announced its plans to file for voluntary bankruptcy, for which it has hired restructuring firm AlixPartners, to “prepare for a potential reorganization.”
San Francisco-based Fitbit said AlixPartners would provide an in-depth evaluation of its business.
The deal, which is expected to close in the first quarter of 2019, includes $750 million in cash and the rest in equity, the companies said.
Over To Google For Rebanding
Fitbit, which has a market value of $273 million, will change its name to Alphabet’s smartwatch and fitness tracker division, called Google Fit.
Credit Suisse was Fitbit’s financial adviser, while Latham & Watkins was its legal adviser.
Google’s acquirer is advised by Goldman Sachs and Paul Hastings.
Shares of Fitbit, which have lost three-quarters of their value this year, fell to $1.57 in extended trading.
Reuters reported on Oct. 10 that Fitbit was seeking bankruptcy protection.
“This transaction will better position Google to bring its new-wave of wearables to the market as well as serve our combined user bases,” Google said in a statement.