IGo Goes to Mobility Electronics

In a deal that’s expected to broaden product lines and distribution networks for both companies, portable computer manufacturer Mobility Electronics on March 25 purchased $34.4 million iGo, a marketer of accessories for mobile electronic devices, for $8.4 million in cash and stock. The acquisition follows a turbulent year for iGo, during which it suffered two rounds of layoffs. The company also faced possible delisting from Nasdaq during the summer for failure to comply with the $1.00 minimum bid-price requirement. (iGo has until May 15 to comply with Nasdaq and avoid being delisted.)

“We’ve been looking for way to increase our product line,” says David Olson, president of Reno, NV-based iGo. With the acquisition, iGo can now sell product from Mobility subsidiaries such as personal digital assistant manufacturer Portsmith and PC hardware manufacturer Magma. As for the $28.3 million Mobility, the iGo acquisition provides access to iGo’s xTend product line of inflight, in-car battery adaptors, which iGo sells to airlines, such as Delta and United.

Mobility’s interest in leveraging all of iGo’s marketing channels will likely lead iGo to reboot its print catalog. According to iGo spokesperson Sherry Seybold, iGo has continued to produce catalogs for customers. But a source familiar with the company says that the catalog last mailed in September and since then has been used primarily as an aid on sales calls. Olson says iGo and Mobility are planning for an iGo catalog drop in late June featuring Mobility products.

Mobility will also use iGo’s Website to sell its wares. “Mobility doesn’t have brand recognition at the channel level,” says its president/CEO, Charlie Mollo. The company distributes its products domestically through Santa Ana, CA-based computer giant Ingram-Micro. Its European distributors include Misco, RFI Electronik, AB Soft, Northamber, and Primary. Mobility’s European sales and marketing team will sell iGo’s products through those partnerships, which Olson says marks iGo’s entry into Europe.

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