Hyundai is reportedly in the process of purchasing a large controlling interest in robot innovator Boston Dynamics from SoftBank in a deal valued at $1.1 billion.

The transaction, under which Hyundai will reportedly obtain an 80% stake with SoftBank retaining around 20% through an affiliate, is expected to close by June of 2021, subject to regulatory approvals and other conditions. Boston Dynamics currently produces a variety of mobile robots used by utilities, warehouses, petroleum companies, miners, and manufacturers.

The road leading to this deal has been long and somewhat winding for Boston Dynamics. The company originated out of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology as a start-up, and was later acquired by Alphabet (GOOGL) in 2013, in a deal reportedly worth about $100 million.

Alphabet sold the company to SoftBank in 2017 reportedly due to Alphabet leadership’s desire to trim its budgets for experimental projects such as humanoid and industrial robots.

The sale is consistent with SoftBank’s reported efforts to potentially take SoftBank private, which involves selling off large assets with the proceeds (currently over $50 billion in selloffs) to buy back its stock and pay down debt.

Hyundai has indicated its investment will help its development of service and logistics robots, and down the road more humanoid robots in the healthcare space, autonomous driving and smart factories.

Here are some reports relating to this deal for your reference: The Verge; Business Insider; Barrons

 

 

Print:
Email this postTweet this postLike this postShare this post on LinkedIn
Photo of Dan Shores Dan Shores

Dan Shores is Partner at Rothwell Figg.  Dan Shores is a dedicated patent lawyer and strategist who believes in his clients and the power of their ideas. He focuses on serving biotech, medical device, energy, software, cybersecurity, and other technology-based companies and understands

Dan Shores is Partner at Rothwell Figg.  Dan Shores is a dedicated patent lawyer and strategist who believes in his clients and the power of their ideas. He focuses on serving biotech, medical device, energy, software, cybersecurity, and other technology-based companies and understands the myriad of challenges that such companies face when breaking through and establishing themselves in their respective markets. Dan works with clients to build robust patent portfolios, protect trade secrets, negotiate strategic collaborations, conduct due diligence and landscape investigations, and prepare for success in funding rounds and exits. An engineer by education, and having extensive experience in transactional, litigation, procurement, and strategic counseling matters for technology-based companies, Dan is a problem-solver who excels at deciphering key translational aspects of a broad array of technologies to maximize leverage in the context of clients’ desired implementation of such technologies whether as participants in dynamic markets or as first movers.

Dan has served companies utilizing the following technologies (without limitation): mRNA therapies; lipid nanoparticle delivery technologies; genetically engineered swine and organs for xenotransplantation; artificial intelligence for drug discovery; CAR-T therapies; oligonucleotide development; pharmaceutical treatment of rhinitis with levocetirizine; pharmaceutical treatment of hepatitis B with telbivudine; genetically-modified cotton seed; fiber-optic probes for tissue investigation; implantable glucose-sensing devices; high throughput genetic seed-chipping technology; cybersecurity threat assessment platforms; interactive media systems for healthcare institutions; artificial intelligence (various applications); identification systems for cable-based medical devices; identification of digital positions of interest on media items; heat-treated glass with multilayer low-emissivity coatings; automotive and agricultural equipment; pressure-sensitive adhesives; three dimensional printing of buildings and other structures; and integrated electronic securities marketplace systems.

Dan is a registered patent attorney licensed to practice before the United States Patent and Trademark Office, and is admitted to practice law in Massachusetts and in the District of Columbia. He is a member of the bars of the Supreme Court of the United States, United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit, and United States District Court for the District of Massachusetts. Dan lives in Boston with his wife Lindsay and their two English Bulldogs Jarves and Rosie.