A report in British newspaper The Guardian has suggested that local peripheral manufacturer Saitek has put itself up for sale, following a number of unsolicited inquiries from interested parties.
Saitek, based in Bristol, England, is the second largest manufacturer of joysticks in the world, with a range of other controller peripherals including joypads, driving wheels, mice, keyboards and a range of chess machines. Established in 1979, the company has one hundred and thirty staff in offices in the UK, France, Germany, Asia and the U.S.
The Guardian quotes chief strategy officer David Inwood
as saying, “With the computer games market growing rapidly and now estimated to be worth $30 billion the demand for peripherals such as joysticks is increasing. Saitek has expanded, and the last financial year proved to be its best on record with sales reaching £30 million ($59.9m).”
The company’s full year results showed sales of PC game controllers grew by 40 percent in the U.S., with Saitek’s own market share increasing to 25 percent worldwide. By value, the company was also the fourth largest brand in keyboards in the U.S., with a 26 percent increase in sales. Saitek’s flagship X52 joystick and throttle controller also became the best selling PC games controller in the U.S. during 2006.
The name of those companies already interested in acquiring Saitek have not been revealed, although The Guardian article quotes Paul Herman of Cavendish Corporate Finance, who suggests a high level of interest from “Asian and North American companies”. The asking price for the company is put at around £25 million ($49.9m).