Netgear Open to Mergers, Targeting Europe and Lifestyle Areas

Story image for Lifestyle from Bloomberg

(Bloomberg) — Netgear Inc. is looking to expand its offerings beyond wireless routers and home cameras, and is open to a range of deal making to achieve that goal.

“When we see opportunities to expand the security line, or go into the lifestyle area, we will definitely do that,” co-founder and Chief Executive Officer Patrick Lo said in an interview.

Netgear has recently focused on expanding its mesh WiFi products. Mesh networks spread WiFi internet signals more evenly around homes, and are being targeted as a growth industry by the likes of Alphabet Inc., which launched Google WiFi last October.

Netgear is targeting a 45 percent market share in home mesh WiFi and its Arlo Smart Home cameras. “Europe is a big market for us and the U.K. in particular,” said Lo. “We see in the U.K. this type of market for surveillance cameras to grow to 30 to 40 percent.”

The San Jose, California-based company has been heavily investing in Arlo. In December it acquired Placemeter, a venture capital-backed vision analytics startup, whose team has been absorbed into Arlo’s home security unit.

While Lo said it was too early to say what new lifestyle products Netgear could invest in, he flagged areas such as light bulbs and internet speakers as already being overcrowded. “We don’t want to get into a space where there are plenty of players,” he said.

Netgear’s shares are down almost 20 percent this year. In April, its second-quarter adjusted operating margin forecast trailed estimates.

While keen for smaller deals, Lo didn’t see any major mergers on the horizon. “In terms of combining with larger entities we do not see that in the near future, but of course being a good keeper of shareholder value we are open to any ideas,” he said.