Fitbit is reportedly considering a sale. The company’s shares jumped more than 20% in after-hour trading on Friday following the reveal.
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As reported by Reuters, the San Francisco outfit has been advised by boutique investment firm Qatalyst Partners to explore opportunities to sell the entire company. Google is one of the names which emerged as a possible buyer including a range of private equity firms. Sources close to the matter further revealed that Fitbit has not yet decided whether to pursue a sale or not.
The news shouldn’t come as much of a surprise. A pioneer in the wearable tech space, the company has been struggling of late to make a meaningful impact in the rapidly growing smartwatch category. Its share of the wearable market has been chipped away by the likes of Apple, Samsung, Garmin and range of low cost offerings from Chinese companies.
As reflected in Fitbit’s poor June fiscal quarter results, sales of the Versa Lite have been disappointing. The device was introduced as a cheaper variant of its popular smartwatch, but it seems customers were more willing to pay for the full thing. Fitbit shipped some 1.2 million units in Q2 2019, which was down on 1.3 million in the same three months last year.
The San Francisco outfit is now looking towards Versa 2 to reverse its fortunes. The wearable was launched last month. It comes with a better screen, longer battery life, more powerful processor and some other extras such as Amazon Alexa support.
In a slight change in direction, Fitbit has also linked up with the Singapore government to offer residents the option to pick up an Inspire HR at no cost, as long as they commit to one-year of Fitbit Premium Service. This is all part of an effort to gain expand presence in the lucrative healthcare market.
The company’s shares rose more than 20% in after-hours trading on Friday to $4.48, but have since retreated somewhat.
Representatives from Fitbit and Google have declined to comment on the rumors. Qatalyst also has not responded to requests for comment.
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