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Thanks to the release of its third quarter 2021 financial results, we now know how much ABB paid to acquire ASTI Mobile Robotics. ABB spent $190 million, including $7 million in cash, in July 2021 to acquire the Spanish developer of autonomous mobile robots (AMRs).
Founded in 1982, ASTI is headquartered in Burgos, Spain and employs 300-plus people in Spain, France and Germany. It was majority owned by Veronica Pascual Boé, who was also CEO. ASTI’s headquarters will become ABB’s AMR business headquarters, led by Pascual Boé, with core functions, including R&D, engineering, product and project value chain, continuing at ASTI’s facilities.
ABB said the acquisition will expand its product family into AMRs and beyond industrial and collaborative robot arms. ASTI solutions are currently selling at a revenue of $50M per year with a 30% annual growth rate. With the ABB sales and partner network, ASTI will now expand their reach from 20 companies to 53 companies worldwide, including China.
Sami Atiya, CEO of ABB Robotics, said on The Robot Report Podcast that more of ABB’s customers began asking about mobile robots. Buying ASTI, rather than developing its own solutions, gives ABB a quick and respected way to diversify its robotics portfolio to provide more value to existing and new customers. Atiya and Pascual Boé discussed the deal recently on The Robot Report Podcast. You can listen to that episode of the show at the bottom of this article.
ASTI is one of four AMR companies to be acquired since May 2021. The other deals were:
- JASCI Software acquired NextShift Robotics in May for an undisclosed amount
- Zebra Technologies paid $290 million for Fetch Robotics in July
- Locus Robotics purchased Waypoint Robotics for an undisclosed amount in September
Table 1: 12 Notable Warehouse-Focused AMR Acquisitions
The most expensive AMR acquisition of recent memory is Shopify’s $450 million purchase of 6 River Systems in 2019. Shopify launched its Fulfillment Network service in June 2019, which it said at the time it will speed up delivery times and lower shipping costs for its customers. 6 River Systems’ fulfillment software and robotics technology were brought onboard to increase the speed and efficiency of these warehouses.
As for how ABB’s robotics and discrete automation division performed in the third quarter, the company said orders were up 30% and totaled $935 million. ABB said revenues amounted to $813 million with growth limited to 1%, saying things were “adversely impacted by component shortages and reduced automotive systems business.”
You can read ABB’s Q3 2021 financial results report here.
About the Author
Steve Crowe is Editorial Director, Robotics, WTWH Media, and co-chair of the Robotics Summit & Expo. He joined WTWH Media in January 2018 after spending four-plus years as Managing Editor of Robotics Trends Media. He can be reached at scrowe[AT]wtwhmedia.com.
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