has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire 40% of AutoStore from funds
affiliated with Thomas H. Lee Partners 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
AutoStore currently has a global blue-chip customer base with more than 600
installations and 20,000 robots across 35 countries. Its automated storage and
retrieval systems, coupled with its proprietary software, provide customers with
high throughput, enhanced configurability and high levels of flexibility to
serve the increasing demands of today's supply chains. AutoStore's innovative
cubic design allows customers to either store four times the inventory in the
same space, or all of their existing inventory in 25% of the space. AutoStore's
solutions thus "redefine space," enabling it to serve a range of markets as
diverse as e-commerce, grocery, industrial, and healthcare in any warehouse,
retail location or other facility.
Masayoshi Son, Chairman & CEO of SoftBank Group Corp. said: "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."
Johan Lier, President & CEO of AutoStore, said: "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."
Jim Carlisle, AutoStore's Chairman of the Board and Managing Director at THL,
and Mike Kaczmarek, Managing Director at THL, said: "We believe the SoftBank
partnership, in support of Karl Johan and the fantastic team at AutoStore, will
help accelerate growth and unlock AutoStore's massive potential. We are thrilled
to welcome SoftBank as our new partner and are very excited for what the future
holds for AutoStore."
The transaction is subject to customary closing conditions and is expected to be
completed this month, in April 2021.