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Private equity group snags ZAGG as business lags for Utah firm

Randy Hales, CEO of ZAGG, holds a mophie wireless charging pad at ZAGG in Midvale on Wednesday, Sept. 13, 2017.
Randy Hales, CEO of ZAGG, holds a mophie wireless charging pad at ZAGG in Midvale on Wednesday, Sept. 13, 2017.
Laura Seitz, Laura Seitz, Deseret News

MIDVALE — Utah mobile device accessory specialist ZAGG was snapped up by a private equity group in a deal announced Friday.

Even with a series of targeted acquisitions over the last few years and a growing portfolio of brands that include Mophie, IFROGS, Gear4 and Halo, ZAGG stock had been on a mostly downward trend since 2018. The company announced last year it was actively seeking a buyer.

On Friday, Evercel Inc. announced it was leading a group of investors in purchasing ZAGG in a cash deal for up to $4.45 per share of issued and outstanding stock. ZAGG stock was trading at $4 per share at the end of regular trading on Thursday.

ZAGG CEO Chris Ahern said the deal was a “positive” for stockholders and predicted continued innovation and growth under new ownership.

“We are pleased with the value this transaction delivers to our stockholders and believe this is a positive development for all of our stakeholders,” Ahern said in a statement. “We look forward to continuing to serve our customers through exceptional products and continued industry-leading innovation.

“We are optimistic about our continued growth and the support that will be provided by Evercel.”

ZAGG made its name innovating sturdy covers for mobile phones and tablets and later expanded into mobile power products, audio accessories and more through acquisitions. In 2017, the company collaborated with Apple in a project to develop a wireless mobile device charging pad. That was the same year hardware giant Apple released its anniversary iPhone X model as well as new iterations of the Apple Watch, AirPod earbuds and other products compatible with wireless recharge accessories.

At the time, ZAGG’s then-CEO Randy Hales said the opportunity for a modest Utah company to work with a tech titan like Apple was an extraordinary turn of events.

“The idea was that we could launch, together, a wireless charger optimized for their new devices,” said Hales. “This is something that very rarely happens.”

The deal, which won unanimous approval from ZAGG’s board of the directors, is expected to close in early 2021.

Evercel CEO Daniel Allen predicted a bright future for ZAGG under the new ownership group.

“We admire the ZAGG business and its portfolio of leading mobile lifestyle brands,” Allen said in a statement. “We are excited to begin a long and successful partnership with the ZAGG team.”