Gaming peripheral company Logitech has announced its acquisition of fellow peripheral provider Astro Gaming. Price of purchase is said to be $85 million in cash, with the sale planned to close in early August.
The purpose of the acquisition has been made very clear by Logitech, as it plans to expand into the console gaming market where its reach is limited. Expanding into the adjacent market is noted as helpful to the, “long-term growth of [Logitech’s] gaming business.”
Vice President and General Manager of Logitech Ujesh Desai offered the following prepared statement regarding the acquisition:
“ASTRO is the leading player for premium console headsets and is the preferred headset for console esports athletes. It’s a perfect complement to Logitech G’s focus on PC gaming and we couldn’t be more excited; we love the team, the brand and the products. Together, we want to make game play even more fun for gamers everywhere.”
While Logitech’s reasoning for the acquisition is certainly sensible given its stated long-term goals, the purchase of Astro Gaming can very easily be seen as getting rid of a rival too. Astro’s line-up of headsets are marketable to game players both on PC and console, and the A40 and A50 models are common high-end recommendations for PC gamers. There are also plenty that value the Astro brand over the Logitech brand when it comes to gaming headsets.
Logitech’s willingness to expand into burgeoning markets where they have little presence is well documented, with several acquisitions over the past several years including Ultimate Ears, Jaybird, and Saitek, which was acquired while Mad Katz neared bankruptcy. Logitech adding Saitek’s line-up of flight sticks, steering wheels, and other enthusiast peripherals to its catalogue shows the company’s dedication to supporting and improving gaming brands where possible. The Astro Gaming purchase should continue that trend.
According to Logitech’s Desai, Astro will remain a separate brand and a separate team from Logitech. He does note that Logitech will stay focused on PC while Astro focuses on console, though whether that means Astro will have to shrink its PC presence is unclear. Expansion for Astro is also within the realm of possibility, according Astro Gaming VP Aron Drayer:
“Certainly there is a desire to do more, we don’t see ourselves as an audio company by any means. We think of ourselves as a gaming company making the best gaming products for people. There’s a lot of things we’d like to do on our road map that’d make the experience better.”
Prior to its purchase by Logitech, Astro Gaming had gone through multiple sales in recent memory. The most recent of which was Mill Road Capital’s purchase of Astro’s parent company Skullcandy in 2016. Why Mill Road Capital is offloading Astro Gaming so quickly is anyone’s guess, thought it’s likely a mix of having planned to sell it since the acquisition of Skullcandy and Logitech’s price being right.
For now, Logitech’s $85 million acquisition of Astro Gaming is unlikely to effect either’s line-up of peripherals, though that may change over time.