Softbank acquires 40% stake in Norwegian robotics firm AutoStore for $2.8 billion

dan@tech.eu

Japan’s Softbank has acquired a 40% minority stake in robotics and software firm AutoStore for $2.8 billion. With the purchase, AutoStore now has a $7.7 billion market value.

The 40% minority stake will be purchased from funds associated with Thomas H. Lee Partners (THL) and EQT Private Equity, as well as other shareholders. THL will remain the majority shareholder, with Softbank now taking a seat on AutoStore’s Board of Directors. The transaction is expected to be completed by the end of this month.

Through the buy-in, the new partnership is expected to further propel AutoStore’s global expansion, with a particular emphasis on the APAC region.

“We view AutoStore as a foundational technology that enables rapid and cost-effective logistics for companies around the globe. We look forward to working with AutoStore to aggressively expand across end markets and geographies,” commented SoftBank Chairman and CEO Masayoshi Son.

Founded in 1996, AutoStore currently has over 600 installations and 20,000 robots in use across 35 countries worldwide. With their cubic design solutions, AutoStore is “redefining space” through automated storage and retrieval systems and services supply chains in the e-commerce, grocery, industrial, and healthcare industries.

“We are delighted for SoftBank to join the AutoStore team as we continue on our journey to automate all commerce and deliver best-in-class automation solutions to our customers,” comments AutoStore CEO Karl Johan Lier. “Our world-class investor group brings exceptional experience from multiple geographies, and we are thrilled to have SoftBank’s leadership and support on a global scale, but particularly with our vision for growth in Asia-Pacific.”

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