PDFpen is no longer a Smile app after $6 million sale to Nitro

PDF Pen on Mac
PDF Pen on Mac (Image credit: iMore)

What you need to know

  • Smile has sold PDF editor PDFpen to Nitro for a cool $6 million.
  • TextExpander is not part of the deal.

Update, June 28 (16:00 ET): Nitro has confirmed that there is a press release available here. This is separate from the blog post linked to by Smile.

Smile has announced that it has sold the popular PDF editing app PDFpen to Nitro. The brief press release might have been more at home in a Tweet, however.

That press release simply said that the sale had taken place and then provided a link to Nitro's announcement of the deal.

We are excited to announce the acquisition of PDFpen by Nitro. We at Smile believe Nitro is well placed to take the PDFpen product to the next level.

Thankfully, Nitro co-founder and CEO Sam Chandler was more forthcoming. They spoke about changes in the way people live in a post-COVID-19 world with the addition of PDFpen making plenty of sense for a company based in productivity apps.

With the acquisition of PDFpen, we have found the perfect complement and addition to extend the Nitro Productivity Platform to even more customers and users. The PDFpen team has deep roots in developing intuitive, easy-to-use and highly popular apps for Mac, iPad and iPhone users, and we're thrilled to be adding their expertise to expand Nitro's core capabilities across those platforms. And, we're just as excited to welcome the phenomenal PDFpen team to the Nitro family. Together, we share common values, an intense focus on the customer and a relentless passion to transform how the world works with documents.

Notably, it appears that the Nitro press release has changed throughout the day. 9to5Mac originally reported on a very different release, one that goes on to say a $6 million purchase has taken place. There's now no mention of that in the current announcement.

Under the terms of the acquisition, Nitro will acquire the PDFpen technology from US-based Smile, Inc. for $6 million in cash. The acquisition will be funded from the Company's existing cash reserves.

So yeah, there's that.

Popular text shortcut app TextExpander was not part of the buyout however, with the app remaining a Smile property.

PDFpen is one of the best PDF markup apps around, but there are better things you can do with $6 million — not least check out our list of the best iMac deals instead.

Oliver Haslam

Oliver Haslam has written about Apple and the wider technology business for more than a decade with bylines on How-To Geek, PC Mag, iDownloadBlog, and many more. He has also been published in print for Macworld, including cover stories. At iMore, Oliver is involved in daily news coverage and, not being short of opinions, has been known to 'explain' those thoughts in more detail, too. Having grown up using PCs and spending far too much money on graphics card and flashy RAM, Oliver switched to the Mac with a G5 iMac and hasn't looked back. Since then he's seen the growth of the smartphone world, backed by iPhone, and new product categories come and go. Current expertise includes iOS, macOS, streaming services, and pretty much anything that has a battery or plugs into a wall. Oliver also covers mobile gaming for iMore, with Apple Arcade a particular focus. He's been gaming since the Atari 2600 days and still struggles to comprehend the fact he can play console quality titles on his pocket computer.