Mad Catz buys Saitek

North American console-focused peripheral maker acquires European PC-centric counterpart for $30 million.

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When it comes to acquisitions, sometimes a company buys out a competitor in order to strengthen its hold on the existing market. Other times, the company is hoping for a more synergistic pairing with a firm that has demonstrated expertise where it is weak. The latter appears to be the case with today's announcement that Mad Catz is acquiring Saitek for $30 million.

The San Diego, California-based Mad Catz has traditionally focused on console peripherals from memory cards to joysticks, but is currently in the process of diversifying its business. Saitek, on the other hand, specializes in PC peripherals for gaming and productivity and has main offices in the UK, France, and Germany.

Mad Catz has said it expects the acquisition to be particularly beneficial to its European retail distribution network; more than half of the $43 million in revenues Saitek reported for its previous fiscal year came from Europe. The peripheral maker is also hoping to capitalize on Saitek's existing foothold in the growing Chinese market.

This is just the latest step in Mad Catz' diversification efforts. Two months ago it purchased the Joytech brand from Take-Two Interactive and it also recently expanded its product line to include AirDrives, a new line of headphones designed with ear safety in mind, which cost between $69 and $100.

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