Foxconn Technology Group plans to leverage its $200 million investment in Woodman Labs Inc., the U.S. maker of GoPro rugged waterproof cameras, to boost its own product portfolio.
“We need image-capture technology which would complement our existing display technology,” Simon Hsing, a spokesman for Foxconn’s flagship Hon Hai Precision Industry Co. (2317), said by phone today. “We fully expect to participate in their strategy and future development.”
Hon Hai, the Taipei-based maker of Apple Inc. iPads and Sony Corp. (6758) PlayStations, bought 11.7 million shares in closely-held Woodman Labs for $17.08 each, giving it a 10.7 percent stake, it said in an exchange statement yesterday. Founded by Nicholas Woodman, the San Mateo, California-based company makes GoPro cameras used by surfers, snowboarders and skydivers.
Woodman Labs is profitable and Foxconn expects it will have the opportunity to become a supplier for its GoPro equipment, Hsing said. In addition to waterproof and rugged cameras, GoPro sells accessories including batteries, remote controls, head straps and bicycle mounts to fit its devices.
Foxconn’s purchase, via Hon Hai’s wholly owned Cayman Islands unit Foxteq Holdings Inc., was listed in the filing as a “long term investment,” without elaboration.
Nicholas Woodman built a following for his wearable cameras when family and friends helped him persuade surf, bike and ski shops to carry the devices in the mid-2000s. Woodman Labs’ 2012 sales will approach $600 million, Bloomberg News reported in October, citing three people with knowledge of its finances.
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