URG to Acquire SoftBank Robotics

By Joel Davies -

The United Robotics Group (URG), a subsidiary of the RAG-Stiftung in Essen, has reached an agreement with SoftBank Robotics Group Corp. to acquire their French subsidiary SoftBank Robotics Europe SAS (SBRE).

URG is headquartered in Bochum, Germany and bundles hardware and software expertise together to develop customized service robotics solutions with its partners and customers in the medical, care, hospitality and education sectors. SoftBank Robotics is headquartered in Paris and is the creator of the well-known NAO and Pepper robots. The firm deploys its robots in more than 70 countries worldwide, working in fields such as retail, healthcare, tourism and education.

“We are pleased to welcome SBRE with more than 180 exceptionally motivated robotics specialists”, said Thomas Hähn, founder and CEO of United Robotics Group. “This is an important step for us on the way to further internationalizing our company. The future Aldebaran with their strong reputation in the market will help us to further expand our great potential in combining interaction robotics with our knowledge in collaborative industrial robotics”.

SBRE will acquire a minority stake in URG and the two companies will continue to cooperate in the global marketing of various robots. URG has been the distributor of Pepper and NAO in the European market since October 2021, responsible for sales, service and maintenance of the robots.

With this acquisition, URG follows its strategy of attempting to secure a leading position in the robotics market through “organic growth and acquisitions”. The combined firm is expected to accelerate research, development and further strengthen the company’s power.

SBRE will revert to its former name of Aldebaran and the General Manager of SBRE, Xavier Lacherade, will continue to lead the company. He said, “We know URG as a strategic partner in sales, services and software development. I am very excited about the combination of the two companies into one large network. I am firmly convinced that the short management paths, which are also characterized by the German-French friendship, will inspire the work on both sides of the Rhine and lead us to new successes in the near future”.

The financial details of the transaction have not been disclosed. The transaction is subject to merger clearance and is expected to close in the second quarter of 2022.

Find more information about URG and its acquisition of SoftBank Robotics on its website.

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