Do you really think Colin Angle wants to sell iRobot for a quick payday? Robots are in his blood. His whole life has revolved around them. Ever since he left MIT 23 years ago he's been CEO of iRobot, the one in charge, the one who dreams of leading the Robolution. Do you think he wants to retire at the age of 45 when he's entering the prime age of leadership? Do you think he wants to be part of a big company like GE or IBM where his ideas and projects can be vetoed by higher-ups?
That's my problem with the buyout scenario. Colin wants to change the world. Money is secondary. I agree that there are probably several companies that would like to acquire iRobot, but Colin views iRobot as a baby Apple or a baby Amazon, a company in the initial stages of a huge growth curve. He wants to be behind the steering wheel and in complete control of its destination.
I agree that Colin isn't seeking to sell the Company. Insiders have sold over 22% of their shares in the last 6 months, which, for a Company public as long as this, is a huge number. Colin has been extremely visible in the few months promoting the Company. IRBT has said the remote presence items, including medical, will not have a material impact on earnings for several years.
The issue for this company is going to be the quality of their patents. If the industry is going to grow as much as is anticipated, then IRBT will be facing off against much larger and stronger competition. If the patents have real value, then the Company can grow exponentially or be acquired. Otherwise, it may be difficult for them.
Right now the Company is priced at a PE north of 40. It's almost an irrelevant number because the potential market is so large. It appears as if the institutions, which abandoned them last year, are back. It's really difficult to get a handle on a fair value for this company. I followed the insiders and took my profit, but time will tell if I'm right..