BEDFORD, Mass. (AP) -- Robot maker iRobot Corp. said Monday that it was acquiring underwater robotics manufacturer Nekton Research LLC in a deal that that companies said could be valued at up to $15 million.
The deal includes a $10 million cash payment for the privately held Raleigh-Durham, N.C.-based company and could include another $5 million if the company meets certain business and financial milestones, officials said.
"We believe that the underwater market is the next frontier for robots," Helen Greiner, co-founder and chairman of iRobot, said in a statement. "This acquisition positions us for leadership in robot solutions on both the land and sea."
The Bedford, Mass.-based robot maker said the transaction will dilute earnings by 2 cents per share in 2008 and between 2 and 3 cents in 2009. The deal is expected to close by Friday.
Nekton President and Chief Executive Rick Vosburgh will become executive director of iRobot's maritime systems division.
iRobot shares rose 31 cents, or 2.2 percent, to $14.41 in late morning trading Monday.