SoftBank to acquire 40% of AutoStore
Norwegian robotics company AutoStore, announces that SoftBank has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire 40% of AutoStore from funds affiliated with Thomas H. Lee Partners, L.P. (THL) and EQT Private Equity, among other shareholders.
THL will continue to be AutoStore's majority shareholder and THL, SoftBank and EQT will each have representatives on AutoStore's Board of Directors. AutoStore, which offers automated storage and retrieval systems, currently has a global blue-chip customer base with more than 600 installations and 20'000 robots across 35 countries. SoftBank will acquire 40% of AutoStore for USD 2.8 billion, which values AutoStore at a USD 7.7 billion in enterprise value. With the addition of SoftBank as a owner, AutoStore will accelerate its global expansion, with particular emphasis on the Asia Pacific 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," says Masayoshi Son, CEO of SoftBank Group Corp in a press release. "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. 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," adds Karl Johan Lier, President & CEO of AutoStore. The transaction is subject to customary closing conditions and is expected to be completed this month, in April 2021.