Exclusive: Logitech in talks to acquire the manufacturer of Plantronics headsets – sources

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(Reuters) – Logitech International SA, a Swiss manufacturer of keyboards and webcams, is discussing to acquire Plantronics Inc, the American manufacturer of Bluetooth headsets and gaming headsets, people familiar with the issue.

FILE PHOTO – CEO Bracken Darrell of the computer peripheral manufacturer Logitech addresses the company's annual press conference in Zurich, Switzerland, 26 April 2017. REUTERS / Arnd Wiegmann

The agreement would be by far the largest acquisition of Logitech and would illustrate the company's drive to diversify its business. It would be as if Logitech and Plantronics sought to contain production costs following the introduction of tariffs on imports from China into the United States.

Logitech has offered more than $ 2.2 billion to acquire Plantronics, said one of the sources. At the end of Friday's trading, Plantronics had a market capitalization of around $ 2 billion.

If the negotiations were positive, an agreement between Logitech and Plantronics could arrive as early as next week, sources said, warning that it is also possible that no agreement is reached.

The sources have asked not to be identified because the negotiations are confidential. Plantronics declined to comment, while Logitech did not respond to a request for comment.

Plantronics shares rose 5.6 percent to $ 56.50 in nighttime news trading in New York on Friday.

The activities of Logitech and Plantonics have been put under pressure due to new offers in development, not only from network gear manufacturers such as Cisco Systems Inc, but also from major technology companies such as Microsoft Inc and the owner of Google Alphabet Inc .

Founded in 1981, Logitech has counteracted the decline in personal computer sales by focusing on consumer accessories that are benefiting from the growth of cloud computing, such as games, music, smart home connectivity and video conferencing. The company based in Lausanne has a market capitalization of $ 5.6 billion.

Last year, Logitech acquired ASTRO Gaming for $ 85 million in cash to expand into the video game industry.

Plantronics, based in Santa Cruz, California, builds unified communications systems, wireless headsets, conferencing systems, and some software, which it sells to businesses and consumers.

Founded in 1961, Plantronics' first products were lightweight headphones for airline pilots. He later became known for selling headphones to the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), including those worn by Neil Armstrong during his first moonwalk in 1969.

A sale of Plantronics would have arrived after the company's $ 2 billion acquisition in July of the US video conferencing equipment manufacturer Polycom Inc.

The private equity firm Siris Capital Group LLC holds 16% of Plantronics, which makes it its largest shareholder. Reuters reported at the beginning of this month that Plantronics was exploring a sale.

Reporting by Liana B. Baker and Carl O & # 39; Donnell in New York; Additional reports by Greg Roumeliotis in New York; Montage of Tom Brown

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