© Boston Dynamics Electronics Production | December 14, 2020
Hyundai to acquire controlling interest in Boston Dynamics
Hyundai Motor Group will acquire a controlling interest in Boston Dynamics from SoftBank Group in a deal that values the mobile robot firm at USD 1.1 billion.
The deal came as Hyundai Motor Group envisions the transformation of human life by combining robotics technologies with its mobility expertise. The parties have not disclosed the financial terms of the agreement. Under the agreement, Hyundai Motor Group will hold an approximately 80% stake in Boston Dynamics and SoftBank, through one of its affiliates, will retain an approximately 20% stake in the robotics company after the closing. Hyundai Motor Group’s affiliates - Hyundai Motor Co., Hyundai Mobis Co. and Hyundai Glovis Co. - and Hyundai Motor Group Chairman Euisun Chung all participated in the acquisition. The acquisition will mark another major step for Hyundai Motor Group toward its strategic transformation into a Smart Mobility Solution Provider. To propel this transformation, Hyundai Motor Group has invested substantially in development of autonomous driving technology, connectivity, eco-friendly vehicles, smart factories, advanced materials, artificial intelligence (AI), and robots. The company believes that advanced robotics offer opportunities for rapid growth with the potential to positively impact society in multiple ways. The deal is also expected to allow Hyundai Motor Group and Boston Dynamics to leverage each other’s respective strengths in manufacturing, logistics, construction and automation. “We are delighted to have Boston Dynamics, a world leader in mobile robots, join the Hyundai team. This transaction will unite capabilities of Hyundai Motor Group and Boston Dynamics to spearhead innovation in future mobility. The synergies created by our union offer exciting new pathways for our companies to realize our goal - providing free and safe movement and higher plane of life experiences for humanity,” says Euisun Chung, Chairman of Hyundai Motor Group, in a press release. "We will also contribute to the society by enhancing its safety, security, public health amid global trends of aging society and digital transformation.” “Boston Dynamics’ commercial business has grown rapidly as we've brought to market the first robot that can automate repetitive and dangerous tasks in workplaces designed for human-level mobility. We and Hyundai share a view of the transformational power of mobility and look forward to working together to accelerate our plans to enable the world with cutting edge automation, and to continue to solve the world’s hardest robotics challenges for our customers,” adds Robert Playter, CEO of Boston Dynamics. Boston Dynamics launched sales of its first commercial robot, Spot in June of 2020 and has since sold hundreds of robots in a variety of industries, such as power utilities, construction, manufacturing, oil and gas, and mining. The company plans to expand the Spot product line early next year with an enterprise version of the robot with greater levels of autonomy and remote inspection capabilities, and the release of a robotic arm, which will be a breakthrough in mobile manipulation. The transaction, subject to regulatory approvals and other customary closing conditions, is expected to close by June of 2021.