Hyundai buys controlling stake in Boston Dynamics in $1.1bn deal

Updated December 11, 2020

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Boston, Dec 11 (IANS) Hyundai Motor Group on Friday announced to acquire controlling stake from SoftBank in consumer robot maker Boston Dynamics in a deal that values the company at $1.1 billion.

Hyundai is taking about 80 per cent stake in the company while Softbank will retain around 20 per cent through an affiliate.

Hyundai Motor Group, together with Boston Dynamics, will create robotics value chain ranging from robot component manufacturing to smart logistics solutions.

The deal, for which financial details were not disclosed, came as Hyundai Motor Group envisions the transformation of human life by combining world-leading robotics technologies with its mobility expertise.

"We are delighted to have Boston Dynamics, a world leader in mobile robots, join the Hyundai team. 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," said Euisun Chung, Chairman of Hyundai Motor Group.

The acquisition will mark another major step for Hyundai Motor Group toward its strategic transformation into a smart mobility solution provider.

Hyundai has already invested substantially in development of future technologies, including in fields such as autonomous driving technology, connectivity, eco-friendly vehicles, smart factories, advanced materials, artificial intelligence (AI), and robots.

Boston Dynamics is the established leader in developing agile, mobile robots that have been successfully integrated into various business operations.

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.

Masayoshi Son, Representative Director, Corporate Officer, Chairman & CEO of SoftBank Group said that "Boston Dynamics is at the heart of smart robotics.

"We are thrilled to partner with Hyundai, one of the world's leading global mobility companies, to accelerate the company's path to commercialization," he said in a statement.

Boston Dynamics is also entering the logistics automation market with the industry leading Pick, a computer vision-based depalletizing solution, and will introduce a mobile robot for warehouses in 2021.

"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," said Robert Playter, CEO of Boston Dynamics.

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