Switzerland-based Logitech is buying video-conferencing equipment firm LifeSize Communications in a 405-million-dollar deal expected to close next month.
The acquisition promises to transform Logitech from a side player in the growing "tele-presence" market to a major contender vying with technology powerhouses such as Hewlett-Packard, IBM, and Cisco Systems.
LifeSize was founded in Austin, Texas, in 2003 and specializes in high-definition video systems intended to mimic in-person discussions.
"LifeSize was founded on the vision of providing life-like visual-communication solutions to change the way the world communicates," said the private firm's co-founder and chief executive Craig Malloy.
"We believe that together with Logitech, we can realize that vision for all enterprises -- private and public -- and small and medium businesses."
The companies said they will pursue relationships with online collaboration and Internet telephony firms, and put Logitech's manufacturing, distribution, and research resources to work for LifeSize.
Logitech is a major maker of computer peripherals including keyboards, headphones, webcams, game controllers, and mouse devices. Logitech has been expanding into the tele-conferencing arena.
"We expect this acquisition to enable Logitech to extend our leadership in video communication beyond the desktop," said Logitech chief executive Gerald Quindlen.
"Together we can make life-like, HD-quality video communication as mainstream and seamless as a telephone."
Along with LifeSize, Logitech would acquire the company's more than 9,000 customers located in about 80 countries. The acquisition must win the approval by antitrust regulators.
(c) 2009 AFP
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