Hyundai Motor Group, together with Hyundai Mobis and Hyundai Glovis, and Chairman Chung Euisun, announced that it would acquire an 80-percent stake, worth up to 900 billion won ($828 million), in US robotics firm Boston Dynamics Inc.
The board of directors of the group supported the plan to purchase the controlling interest in the robotics firm, Boston Dynamics. The Japanese investment firm, SoftBank Group, would still maintain the remaining 20 percent.
Hyundai Mobis and Hyundai Glovis would acquire 20 percent and 10 percent of the shares, respectively. Hyundai Motor would buy 30 percent, and Chairman Chung Euisun’s stake stands at 20 percent.
The company anticipates the deal to close by June 2021, under regulatory approval and other closing conditions.
Hyundai Motor stated that the stake acquisition aims to expand its robotic business to utilize and collaborate with future businesses.
According to Hyundai, Boston Dynamics creates active, mobile robots successfully integrated into different business operations. The company introduced its first commercial robot, Spot, in June. Boston Dynamics originated from MIT in 1992, acquired by Alphabet in 2013, and then sold to SoftBank in 2017.
Chairman Chung said that the company feels delighted to have Boston Dynamics join the group. The business deal would combine the expertise of both companies to lead future mobility innovations.
A Bright Future for Robotics
Masayoshi Son, SoftBank Group’s Chairman, applauded the deal and said the partnership would fast-track its commercialization goal. Boston Dynamics foresees success and a bright future while working with Hyundai Motor Group.
According to Chung, half of Hyundai’s business would include car manufacturing, urban air mobility with 30 percent and robotics with 20 percent. The company believes that robotics would ensure significant growth in the future.
The partnership with Boston Dynamics would contribute to designing industrial robots for logistics and factory use.
Hyundai revealed its concept vehicle with robotic legs that could drive, walk, and propose search and rescue in challenging situations.
Last Thursday, the company said it would make an investment worth 60.1 trillion won ($55 billion) by 2025 for future mobility. Through this investment, the company hopes to obtain a more significant share in the global automobile markets.
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