UK Online Grocery Retailer Ocado Acquires Two U.S. Robotics Firms

UTC by Darya Rudz · 3 min read
UK Online Grocery Retailer Ocado Acquires Two U.S. Robotics Firms
Photo: Ocado Group

The sum of the deal has totaled $287 million in cash and shares: $262 million for Kindred Systems and $25 million for Haddington Dynamics. 

British online supermarket Ocado Group Plc announced it had acquired two U.S.-based robotics firms – Kindred Systems and Haddington Dynamics. According to Ocado, the initiative will help it to complete the mission of solving the world’s hardest challenge in robotics, the picking and packing of groceries.

Ocado Group CEO Tim Steiner stated:

“The bringing together of these three great companies to help solve this challenge is really, really exciting. The robotic pick opportunity in online grocery is of huge value to us and our clients globally.”

As Tim Steiner said, through the acquisition of robotics firms, Ocado is “massively accelerating investment and progress in this space”.

He added:

“This will mean our clients can roll out facilities that will have better economics.”

The sum of the deal has totaled $287 million in cash and shares, $262 million for Kindred Systems and $25 million for Haddington Dynamics.

Kindred Systems and Haddington Dynamics are advanced AI-powered robotics companies. They both focus on the design and manufacture of robotic arms for e-commerce and order fulfillment. Joining forces with Ocado will not only enhance Ocado Group’s existing capabilities but also support Kindred and Haddington’s growth with their existing customers. According to Kindred Systems CEO Marin Tchakarov, “joining forces together will effectively create the foundations for probably the best robotics team in the world”.

Ocado’s High Expectations for 2020

In addition to acquiring two robotics firms, Ocado has upgraded its forecast for full-year profit. The company has said that through the fourth quarter of the current financial year, its trading has remained strong. Therefore, Ocado expects to see further high demand and predicts full-year EBITDA to be over £60 million. In contrast, its previous guidance mentioned £40 million.

Ocado will release Q4 2020 trading update on December 10. Full-year results for the financial year ending on November 30 will be published at the beginning of February 2021.

About Ocado

Ocado was founded back in 2000. 10 years later, it undertook an Initial Public Offering (IPO) and appeared on the London Stock Exchange. Moreover, the company is a member of the FTSE 100 Index. In 2015, Ocado launched the Ocado Smart Platform, its own software for operating retail businesses online.

Ocado’s products include own-brand groceries from the Marks and Spencer supermarket chain as well as their own Ocado brand. It also has a selection of name brand groceries and other items, including flowers, toys and magazines. In comparison to its main competitors, the company has no chain of stores and does all home deliveries from its warehouses. Besides, Ocado aims to transform online grocery retail and enable the world’s most forward-thinking retailers to do grocery online profitably, scalably and sustainably.

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