Logitech says any Microsoft bid "without sense"

MILAN Mon Mar 10, 2008 9:24am EDT

Logitech CEO Guerrino De Luca listens to a question during an interview in Shanghai July 30, 2004. Any takeover bid for peripherals maker Logitech International SA by Microsoft Corp would be ''an operation without sense'', De Luca was quoted as saying in an Italian newspaper on Sunday. REUTERS/China Photos

Logitech CEO Guerrino De Luca listens to a question during an interview in Shanghai July 30, 2004. Any takeover bid for peripherals maker Logitech International SA by Microsoft Corp would be ''an operation without sense'', De Luca was quoted as saying in an Italian newspaper on Sunday.

Credit: Reuters/China Photos

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MILAN (Reuters) - Any takeover bid for peripherals maker Logitech International SA LOGN.VX by Microsoft Corp (MSFT.O) would be "an operation without sense", Logitech's chairman was quoted as saying in an Italian newspaper on Sunday.

Shares in Swiss-based Logitech rose in January based on speculation Microsoft would launch a takeover bid. Analysts dismissed rumors of an $8 billion takeover bid and Logitech board member Daniel Borel, the company's largest shareholder, said he had no reason to sell his stake.

"(Shares) only rose for a day. Anyhow it would be an operation without sense," Logitech Chairman Guerrino De Luca told Corriere della Sera in an interview.

"I reiterate, without competition Logitech would lose the great pressure to innovate. Moreover there would be problems from antitrust authorities seeing as the two companies together would have a virtual global monopoly in mice and keyboards."

Logitech is the market leader in PC mice, while Microsoft is its biggest competitor with "30 percent of our market", De Luca said.

When asked whether Microsoft had bought any stake in Logitech, De Luca replied: "It would not be opportune seeing as we are competitors.

"However I am proud of the fact that a small stake was bought by the Melinda and Bill Gates Foundation," he added, referring to Microsoft Chairman Bill Gates' charitable organization.

De Luca said Logitech was investing $100 million a year in research and development and was "not worried about Asia and other producers".

With regard to laptops affecting sales of mice, De Luca said: "Is the mouse dying with the laptop? On the contrary. It remains a third of our turnover," adding that sales in the last quarter rose 25 percent.

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