By Anthony O. Goriainoff
Ocado Group PLC said Monday that it will buy two companies to enhance its robotic-manipulation capabilities, and accelerate the commercial delivery of robotic picking for its Ocado Smart Platform clients, for around $287 million.
The FTSE 100 online grocer and retail-technology specialist said it will buy Kindred Systems Inc.--an advanced piece-picking robotics company--for $262 million, and this will be financed using its existing cash reserves. Around $4 million will be retained as deferred cash consideration and will be paid out to certain employee shareholders in equal tranches, and conditional on the employee being employed by Ocado, the company said. It added that completion is dependent on the satisfaction of closing conditions including U.S. regulatory approvals and employee retention, and that it expects to close this year.
Ocado will also buy Nevada-based Haddington Dynamics Inc.--a robotic-arm designer and manufacturer--for around $25 million, with completion being subject to the satisfaction of certain U.S. regulatory and commercial closing conditions. The transaction--which will consist of a mixture of around $7 million in cash and 600,000 new Ocado ordinary shares--is expected to close in 2020.
"Given the market opportunity, we want to accelerate the development of our systems, including improving their speed, accuracy, product range and economics," Chief Executive Tim Steiner said.
Write to Anthony O. Goriainoff at email@example.com
(END) Dow Jones Newswires