The United Robotics Group (URG), a subsidiary of the RAG-Stiftung in Essen, has reached an agreement with SoftBank Robotics Group Corp. (SBRG) to acquire their French subsidiary SoftBank Robotics Europe SAS (SBRE). SBRG will acquire a minority stake in URG and the two companies will continue to cooperate in the global marketing of various robots. By acquiring SBRE, URG will become one of the biggest service robotics companies in Europe.
Headquartered in Paris, France, SBRE is provider of humanoid robotics and the developer and manufacturer of the world-renowned Pepper and NAO robots. URG has been the master distributor in the European market since October 2021, responsible for sales, service and maintenance of Pepper and NAO.
URG companies such as Humanizing Technologies and ENTRANCE Robotics have already been partners of SBRE since 2017. URG, SBRG and SBRE will hold a strong partnership to develop and distribute various robots including Pepper and will continue to provide services together to customers around the world.
SBRE will revert to its former name of Aldebaran, a pioneer in interaction robotics and academics market. General Manager of SBRE, Xavier Lacherade, will continue to lead the company. The transaction is subject to merger clearance and is expected to close in the second quarter of 2022.
“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.”
Fumihide Tomizawa, President & CEO, SoftBank Robotics Group, said: “We are strengthening our strategic partnerships with various robotics leader companies around the world. We are very pleased to form a strong partnership with a successful company, URG. We will leverage this great relationship to develop and market Pepper and a variety of other robots.”
Xavier Lacherade, General Manager of SoftBank Robotics Europe, 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.”