Hyundai Motor to acquire controlling stake in Boston Dynamics for $1.1 bn
29 December 2020
Hyundai Motor Group is acquiring a controlling interest in Boston Dynamics, currently owned by Softbank Group, for around $1.1 billion, with the goal of combining robotics and mobility to make them complementary, thereby opening a new chapter in the robotics and mobility industry.
SoftBank Group wo ill continue to be part of the business propel development and commercialisation of advanced robots with the highly complementary technologies of Hyundai Motor Group and Boston Dynamics.
The robotics technologies will lend synergies to autonomous vehicles, UAMs and smart factories
Hyundai Motor Group, together with Boston Dynamics, proposes to create robotics value chain ranging from robot component manufacturing to smart logistics solutions
While financial terms of the combination were not disclosed, under the agreement, Hyundai Motor Group will hold approximately 80 per cent stake in Boston Dynamics and SoftBank, through one of its affiliates, will retain an approximately 20 per cent stake in Boston Dynamics after the closing of the transaction.
By establishing a leading presence in the field of robotics, the acquisition will mark another major step for Hyundai Motor Group toward its strategic transformation into a Smart Mobility Solution Provider. Hyundai Motor Group has 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.
“The synergies created by our union offer exciting new pathways for our companies to realise our goal - providing free and safe movement and higher plane of life experiences for humanity,” said Euisun Chung, chairman of Hyundai Motor Group. "We will also contribute to the society by enhancing its safety, security, public health amid global trends of aging society and digital transformation,” he added.
“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 commercialisation. Boston Dynamics has a very bright future and we remain invested in the company’s success,” Masayoshi Son, representative director, corporate officer, chairman and CEO of SoftBank Group, said.
“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,” said Robert Playter, CEO of Boston Dynamics.
Boston and Silicon Valley=based Boston Dynamics produces highly capable mobile robots with advanced mobility, dexterity and intelligence, enabling automation in difficult, dangerous, or unstructured environments. The company 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. Boston Dynamics 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.
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.
Seoul, South Korea-based Hyundai Motor Group is a global automotive group operating in the automobile, steel, construction, machine tools, logistics, and other industries. With more than 16,000 employees working in 40 facilities across 10 states, including its $1.8 billion auto manufacturing plant in Alabama, Hyundai Motor Group is a well-established investor, manufacturer, and innovator in the United States.