Store owner in Kahoot buys into Norwegian Autostore

The article continues below the ad

The Norwegian company Autostore is a robot system for large warehouses, which is used by everything from Komplett to the Russian central bank.

The last time the company was traded was when the American fund Thomas H. Lee Partner paid NOK 16 billion when it bought large parts of Autostore from Swedish EQT in 2019. In other words, the value of the company has risen by more than NOK 50 billion.

According to a press release, Softbank buys shares both from EQT and from American Thomas H. Lee Partner.

Softbank is the world’s largest investor in start-up companies, and sits on the world’s largest money bag for technology-oriented risk investments in the form of their “Vision Fund” I and II, which together have well over $ 100 billion under management.

Softbank CEO Masayoshi Son comments on the acquisition as follows:

– We see Autostore as a basic technology that provides fast and cost-effective logistics for companies all over the world. We look forward to working with Autostore and to expanding aggressively across countries and markets.

Autostore CEO Karl Johan Lier is very pleased to have Softbank as an investor.

– We are excited to have Softbank’s management and support globally, but especially for our growth vision in Asia.

The article continues below the ad

Billion lawsuits

Autostore, which has experienced great success with its automated warehousing solutions, has sued the internet giant Ocado and believes they are making illegal interventions in Autostore’s patents in both the UK and the US.

Autostore believes that Ocado’s cooperation agreements with grocery chains such as Kroger in the USA, Marks & Spencer and Morrisons in the UK are based on its patents.

Vestlandsselskapet demands financial compensation in the billions.

“AutoStore demands lawsuits that prevent Ocado and its partner, Tharsus Group (from Blyth, UK), from producing, importing, using and selling technology that infringes AutoStore’s patents,” the company wrote in connection with the publication of the lawsuit last fall.

Nose for start-up companies

Softbank’s founder and CEO Masayoshi Son is known for taking a high risk, and having a nose for start-up companies that have the potential to grow rapidly. The $ 20 million Alibaba investment over 20 years ago has gone down in history as one of the most lucrative.

The company acquired Norwegian Kahoot last autumn and has increased its ownership position. The Japanese company has extensive experience with international IPOs.

Softbank was left with a gain of NOK 140 billion after the listing of the South Korean e-commerce company Coupang in the USA.

Softbank Group fell 0.6 percent on the Tokyo Stock Exchange on Tuesday. The share price has risen from 4000 yen in April last year to 9935 yen.

Autostore had a turnover of NOK 1.7 billion in 2019 – a growth of 45 percent from 2018. Ordinary profit before tax came to NOK 749.1 million. This is almost NOK 200 million more than in 2018.(Terms)Copyright Dagens Næringsliv AS and / or our suppliers. We would like you to share our cases using a link, which leads directly to our pages. Copying or other form of use of all or part of the content, can only take place with written permission or as permitted by law. For further terms see here.

Get the latest news delivered to your inbox

Follow us on social media networks

PREV Store owner in Kahoot buys into Norwegian Autostore
NEXT Storbank lost almost 40 billion on hedge fund scandal – dividend cutter – E24