SoftBank invests $2.8 billion in Norwegian robotics agency AutoStore

Masayoshi Son

Alessandro Di Ciommo | NurPhoto | Getty Pictures

LONDON ­– Japanese tech conglomerate SoftBank has acquired 40% of Norwegian warehouse automation agency AutoStore for $2.8 billion.

The information was first reported by The Wall Road Journal on Monday and later confirmed by AutoStore in an replace on its web site.

The deal values AutoStore, which was integrated in 1996, at $7.7 billion.

SoftBank, which has made a string of investments into e-commerce and robotics over the previous few years, is shopping for the stake from U.S. non-public fairness group Thomas H Lee Companions and Swedish enterprise capital agency EQT.

“We view AutoStore as a foundational expertise that permits fast and cost-effective logistics for firms across the globe,” stated SoftBank CEO and founder Masayoshi Son in a press release.

He added: “We look ahead to working with AutoStore to aggressively develop throughout finish markets and geographies.”

Based by Ingvar Hognaland and headquartered in a village close to Bergen referred to as Nedre Vats, AutoStore has developed what it calls “dice storage automation,” which permits robots to maximise space for storing in warehouses.

It says that it has deployed 20,000 of its robots at 600 websites throughout 35 nations and that its expertise permits clients to both retailer 4 instances the stock in the identical area, or all of their current stock in 25% of the area. AutoStore clients embody the likes of U.S. electronics retailer Greatest Purchase, Swedish telco Siemens, and British grocery chain Asda.

Karl Johan Lier, president and CEO of AutoStore, stated in a press release that SoftBank’s backing will assist it to develop within the Asia-Pacific area.

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