Hyundai Motors Signs $1 Billion Deal to Acquire Boston Dynamics

UTC by Darya Rudz · 3 min read
Hyundai Motors Signs $1 Billion Deal to Acquire Boston Dynamics
Photo: Boston Dynamics / Twitter

Goldman Sachs will serve as an advisor of the deal. Korean law firm Kim & Chang will be the legal counsel of the acquisition.

South Korean auto manufacturer Hyundai Motors Company (OTCMKTS: HYMTF) has decided to acquire US engineering and robotics design company Boston Dynamics from SoftBank Group. The sum of the deal totals $921 million, it will be completed today.

According to The Korea Economic Daily report, the companies have been discussing the acquisition terms since early November. Those familiar with the matter said Hyundai Motor will finance about half of the acquisition price, about 400 billion. Its affiliate will pay the rest of the acquisition price. Besides, the internal sources have revealed that Goldman Sachs Group Inc (NYSE: GS) will serve as an advisor of the deal. Korean law firm Kim & Chang will be the legal counsel of the acquisition.

When reached for comment, Hyundai said:

“As a global business entity, Hyundai Motor is continuously exploring various investment and partnership opportunities. As company policy, we do not comment on market speculation.”

Last October, Hyundai welcomed a new chairman Chung Euisun. For him, the deal will be the first buyout since coming to the company.

Hyundai’s Focus on Robotics

Hyundai Motors’ decision to acquire Boston Dynamics is a part of its strategy to expand research into automated vehicle technology and robotics. In 2017, Hyundai set up Hyundai Robotics, the Group’s unit that focuses on robotics. The department has officially launched only this year. By 2025, the company is planning to invest as much as $1.4 billion into the industry. Besides, it expects robotics development to make up 20% of its business. Half of Hyundai’s sales will be taken by autos, urban air mobility (UAM) will account for 30%.

The acquisition of Boston Dynamics is an essential step towards Hyundai’s goals. Boston Dynamics has long been famous for its innovative approach to the development of a series of dynamic highly-mobile robots. It combines the principles of dynamic control and balance with sophisticated mechanical designs, cutting-edge electronics, and next-generation software for high-performance robots equipped with perception, navigation, and intelligence. Among its products are BigDog, Spot, Atlas, and Handle. Founded in 1992, the company was acquired by Google LLC (NASDAQ: GOOGL) in 2013 and SoftBank in 2017.

Boston Dynamics’ Spot a four-legged robot that can trot, climb stairs, and open doors. Spot’s base platform provides advanced mobility and perception to navigate stairs, gravel, and rough terrain while collecting 2D and 3D information with on board-sensors. At present, it is not suitable for use in the home, or by children or others who cannot operate it responsibly. However, Boston Dynamics may explore consumer-facing applications of a future variant of Spot robot by 2022.

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