Foxconn to buy Smart

Smart kapp

Taiwanese electronics company Foxconn has entered into an agreement with interactive whiteboard manufacturer Smart Technologies, to buy the company for $4.50 a share, which values the company at around $200m.

"We are very excited by the proposed acquisition of Smart by Foxconn, who is the world's largest electronics manufacturer," said Neil Gaydon, president and CEO of Smart.

"Smart has built an enviable global brand in both the education and enterprise spaces. The proposed transaction with Foxconn provides us with one of the strongest global electronics partners with access to significant resources, a broad range of new technologies, markets and financial resources that will enable us to accelerate our strategy and position Smart for significant future growth."

An information circular regarding the arrangement is expected to be mailed to shareholders in June 2016 and a meeting of shareholders is expected to be held in July 2016 with closing to occur after that.

Smart has had a troubled history of late; The company once had annual revenues of $800m, but crashed after going public in 2010 and its stock fell from $17 in 2010 to $1.30 in 2012.  This dramatic fall in value forced out the husband and wife founders of the company, David Martin and Nancy Knowlton, who resigned as as executive chair and CEO, respectively, in 2012. Neil Gaydon was brought in as CEO and began a long process of cost cutting at the organisation, which included redundancies and the sale of its Calgary building and the closure of its Ottawa product assembly facility.