After spending around $3.5 billion on the 2016 acquisition of LCD juggernaut Sharp, the world’s largest contract electronics manufacturer continues to branch out by announcing another (relatively) high-profile “definitive agreement” today.
If the US Committee on Foreign Investment allows it, which is by no means a guarantee, Foxconn will buy Belkin International in exchange for approximately US$866 million in cash.
Specifically, Foxconn Interconnect Technology Limited (FIT), a subsidiary of Hon Hai Precision Industry Co., Ltd., is looking to create a “global consumer electronics leader” with the acquisition of California-based, 1983-founded Belkin.
This FIT division apparently focuses on the “development, manufacturing and marketing of electronic and optoelectronic connectors, antennas, acoustic components, cables and modules for applications in computers, communication equipment, consumer electronics, automobiles, industrial and green energy field products.”
Foxconn, or Hon Hai, is of course best known for manufacturing various iPhone and iPad generations, as well as Nokia devices, Kindles, PlayStations and Xboxes. But until recently, the Taiwanese tech giant never expressed much interest in selling own-brand products.
Sharp smartphones and Belkin accessories are still unlikely to move under Foxconn’s name, but clearly, the ODM (original design manufacturer) wants to be more involved in the distribution process of these devices.
Along with Belkin-branded smartphone and tablet cases, wireless chargers, cables or adapters, Foxconn Interconnect Technology will seize control of Linksys routers and Wemo smart plugs, smart light switches and various other home automation products. Belkin International owns both Linksys and Wemo, as well as a lesser known brand called Phyn. That’s one of the reasons the acquisition may need to clear some tough regulatory hurdles, having a potential impact on several markets and branches of the consumer electronics industry.