Retail

Fitbit Eyeing Pebble In $40 Million Deal?

Fitness technology firm Fitbit is coming close to acquiring Pebble, the smartwatch maker, in a transaction that Venturebeat.com says will “spell the end of the Pebble brand” with an attendant purchase price of $34 million to $40 million.

Venturebeat said that Pebble had been on the block and that this price range would go down as a “reversal of fortunes” for Pebble, which had come to market via Kickstarter and a $7 million kick-off of its first smartwatch.

As part of the deal, Fitbit gets the Pebble portfolio of intellectual property and also its operating system, which could help Fitbit expand its product offerings.

Venturebeat also noted that Fitbit had its own debut on the public markets last year with a nearly 63 percent jump in its first day of trading to close at $32.50. Then the stock became a busted IPO — and now trades at a bit more than $8. Will Pebble help kickstart Fitbit? The firm competes in a smartwatch arena dominated by Apple and Samsung. In the meantime, the company laid off 25 percent of its staff this past year and was approached by other firms at least twice for acquisitions, substantially higher than the latest rumored $40 million takeout price.

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