Logitech International (LOGI) announced that it has agreed to acquire privately held LifeSize Communications of Austin, Texas for $405 million in cash. LifeSize is a global leader in high definition (HD) video communication solutions, with more than 9,000 video conferencing customers across 80 countries in large enterprises, small-to-medium businesses (SMBs) and public healthcare, education and government organizations.
The acquisition will enable Logitech to extend its leadership in video communication beyond the desktop.

Logitech and LifeSize plan to pursue existing and new relationships with unified communications, collaboration and VoIP industry partners and competitors to drive the development of an open eco-system for interoperable video communication.

LifeSize expects approximately $90 million in revenues in CY 2009, with CY 2010 revenues expected to grow between 40% and 60%. Logitech expects the acquisition to be neutral to slightly positive to its operating income (excluding acquisition-related charges) in FY 2011, ending March 31, 2011, and positive thereafter.

For a long time, videoconferencing was limited to big businesses that could afford to build expensive systems in their conference rooms. But videoconferencing has become more accessible because Internet connections are commonplace, video has become more efficient and the price has dropped for high-definition cameras and displays.

Now, many companies are trying to reach small businesses and individuals that previously used low-quality webcams on PCs. In the previous month, Cisco Systems Inc. (CSCO) announced its intension to buy Tandberg, a Norwegian video communications company, for $3 billion. Tandberg makes smaller and less expensive videoconferencing tools that can be fitted on desks.

Logitech engages in design, manufacture, and marketing of personal peripherals for personal computers and other digital platforms in Europe, the Middle East, Africa, the Americas, and the Asia Pacific. The company was founded in 1981 and is based in Apples, Switzerland. Major competitors include Microsoft Corp. (MSFT) and Koninklijke Philips Electronics NV (PHG).

We currently have a Neutral recommendation on LOGI.

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