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Watchmaker Fossil Group buys Misfit

Update: December, 03/2015 - 08:55
Misfit Shine, a wearable fitness and sleep tracker that costs $99, with a six-month battery life. Watchmaker Fossil Group has agreed to acquire Misfit for US$260 million. — Photo
HA NOI  (VNS) — Watchmaker Fossil Group has agreed to acquire Misfit, a wearable fitness tracker producer based in the United States and Viet Nam, for US$260 million, an official from Misfit Viet Nam told Viet Nam News.

According to The Wall Street Journal, the US-based watch company aims to incorporate the start-up's technology into its products, while continuing to produce Misfit's own products. The acquisition is funded through cash and bank debt and is expected to be closed before the end of 2015.

"We believe it is not about functions. It is about function and design and branding," Greg McKelvey, chief strategy officer and digital officer at Fossil Group was quoted by The Wall Street Journal as saying.

"We see tremendous growth opportunity and that a lot of our jewellery and watches could be connected devices," he said, and added that the company is especially attracted to Misfit's battery life innovation.

"We are thrilled to join forces with the Fossil Group to usher in the next era of wearables where elegance, beauty and long-lasting wearability are paramount," Sonny Vu, chief executive and co-founder of Misfit said.

By rolling into Fossil, the start-up's technology will be able to take advantage of Fossil's line-up of brands, as well as its massive distribution and manufacturing capability, Vu told The Wall Street Journal.

Vu will be a member of Fossil's executive leadership team and will serve as president and chief technology officer of connected devices after the deal closes.

Misfit makes devices like the Shine, a wearable fitness and sleep tracker that costs $99, with a six-month battery life. Starting in Viet Nam and the US at the same time in 2011, the company now offers a range of activity trackers priced between $20 and $100.

Texas-based Fossil makes watches and jewellery using its namesake brand as well as Skagen and Zodiac. It also makes watches for other brands, including Michael Kors, Diesel and DKNY. Fossil sells 50 million watches and accessories each year in 150 countries. — VNS

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