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Google Putting Nest Under Its Umbrella for $3.2 Billion in Cash

By  +Follow January 13, 2014 2:12PM
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In a lackluster trading day for the bulls, merger mania came after the closing bell with three big names involved in deals.  In a move that many saw coming, Charter Communications (CHTR) offered about $132.50 per share in cash and stock to buy Time Warner Cable (TWC) , valuing the U.S.’s second largest cable company at roughly $61 billion, including debt.

Everyone will be talking about that merger. That’s not fun. This one is much cooler.

GOOG Adds to its Growing Nest

In a much smaller deal, comparatively, search engine and tech behemoth Google Inc. (GOOG) said that it is paying $3.2 billion in cash to acquire Nest Labs. Nest is best known for it learning, energy-saving thermostat and its recently launched Protect, a combination smoke alarm and carbon monoxide alarm that can talk to you and tell you what’s going on with the air in your house and where.

Both products have been the topic of rave reviews, including being a feature on DIY Networks’ “I Want That!” The Nest thermostat “never stops learning,” adjusting to the user changing it to different temperatures at different times of the day to optimize comfort and control costs associated with heating and cooling. The Nest Protect was designed to take the annoyance out of traditional smoke alarms that users often disable because of the ear-piercing alarm that can go off while cooking a meal or the incessant chirping when you don’t have another 9 volt battery handy. Both the thermostat and Protect are controllable from the Nest app.

Check out the video to see how Nest Protect works.

Larry Page, CEO of Google, said: “Nest’s founders, Tony Fadell and Matt Rogers, have built a tremendous team that we are excited to welcome into the Google family. They’re already delivering amazing products you can buy right now--thermostats that save energy and smoke/CO alarms that can help keep your family safe.”

Former AAPL Engineers Make Good

Both Fadell and Rogers were engineers working at Apple (AAPL) before starting Nest Labs out of a garage in Palo Alto, California in May 2010 with the mission to “reinvent unloved but important devices in the home.”  Fadell, 44, has been called the “one of the fathers of the iPod,” because of his role in the development of the device while serving as Senior Vice President of Apple’s iPod division.  Following completion of the acquisition, Nest will continue to operate under its own brand and the leadership of Fadell.

Incidentally, the Nest thermostat was originally only available at the Apple Store when it was first launched in October 2011.  A bit ironic that Apple operating system rival Google will now own the company.

"We're thrilled to join Google," Fadell said in a statement. "With their support, Nest will be even better placed to build simple, thoughtful devices that make life easier at home, and that have a positive impact on the world."

Shares of Google were down 0.6 percent during the regular trading session Monday at $1,122.98, but have regained ground following the news in extended trading, printing back up to $1,130 per share.

DISCLOSURE: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the authors, and do not represent the views of equities.com. Readers should not consider statements made by the author as formal recommendations and should consult their financial advisor before making any investment decisions.


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By  +Follow January 13, 2014 2:12PM
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