March 20, 2012, Inc. today announced that it has reached an agreement to acquire ?RBR50 member?privately-held Kiva Systems, Inc., a leading innovator of mobile-robotic warehouse automation systems technology.

?Amazon has long used automation in its fulfillment centers, and Kiva?s technology is another way to improve productivity by bringing the products directly to employees to pick, pack and stow,? said Dave Clark, vice president, global customer fulfillment, ?Kiva shares our passion for invention, and we look forward to supporting their continued growth.?

Not lost on Amazon, a Kiva customer, is the fact that ?Kiva?s robots today are processing millions of orders a year in retailers? warehouses across the United States, the UK, and Europe,? reports Harvard Business Review, ?quietly driving Kiva?s startling 80 percent annual growth.?

?Amazon has not had great margins,? Jason Helfstein, an analyst at Oppenheimer & Company. ?One has to believe they looked at this and thought, ?Why not just own it and take all the technology in house???

?For the past ten years, the Kiva team has been focused on creating innovative material handling technologies,? said Mick Mountz, CEO and founder of Kiva Systems. ?I?m delighted that Amazon is supporting our growth so that we can provide even more valuable solutions in the coming years.?

Following the acquisition, Kiva Systems? headquarters will remain in North Reading, Massachusetts. Under the terms of the agreement, which has been approved by Kiva?s stockholders, Amazon will acquire all of the outstanding shares of Kiva for approximately $775 million in cash, as adjusted for the assumption of options and other items. Subject to various closing conditions, the acquisition is expected to close in the second quarter of 2012.

RBR50: Kiva Systems, Inc.