Hyundai acquires Boston Dynamics for almost $1 billion

After negotiations, Hyundai Motor Group acquired Boston Dynamics from SoftBank Group. The deal was worth $921 million, or slightly less than 1 trillion won. Said deal was finalised on December 10.

Hyundai aims to transform human life by marrying its expertise on mobility with Boston Dynamics’ cutting-edge robotic technologies. The agreement sees Hyundai Motor Group holding an approximately 80% stake in Boston Dynamics, with SoftBank retaining the remainder through one of its affiliates. Three of Hyundai Motor Group’s affiliates, namely Hyundai Motor Co., Hyundai Mobis Co., and Hyundai Glovis Co. were involved in this negotiation along with Euisun Chung, the Chairman of Hyundai Motor Group.

This acquisition allows Hyundai Motor Group to be involved in the robotics field, and is one of the company’s ventures in future technologies, including AI, advanced materials, and smart factories. The possibilities in improving autonomous driving, smart factories, and general R&D from this acquisition are endless. Hyundai Motor Group even plans to develop humanoid robot caregivers that work at hospitals to help patients in hospitals.

Hyundai Motor Group has high hopes that this acquisition will benefit them in the long run.

This is a development of SoftBank’s internal structure, as the company has experienced leadership changes. According to some reports, the members that helped SoftBank acquire Boston Dynamics in 2017 from Google are now no longer part of the former. Prior to this, SoftBank was hit hard after some less-than-ideal business ventures.

Boston Dynamics itself has been passed through Google in 2013, and Google sold it to SoftBank in 2017, which makes Hyundai Motor Group the third owner of Boston Dynamics.

Hyundai Motor Group’s venture into robotics was a great development, according to Chairman Euisun Chung. The CEOs of both SoftBank Group and Boston Dynamics both concur with this sentiment.

It is worth noting that even before Hyundai Motor Group acquired Boston Dynamics, the company has been investing in the robotics field for years. In 2017, MEX, a product to help paraplegics walk again, was revealed. A year later, VEX and CEX were introduced, robotic devices to help workers in the workplace experience less burden.

‘We are delighted to have Boston Dynamics, a world leader in mobile robots, join the Hyundai team. This transaction will unite capabilities of Hyundai Motor Group and Boston Dynamics to spearhead innovation in future mobility. The synergies created by our union offer exciting new pathways for our companies to realize our goal – providing free and safe movement and higher plane of life experiences for humanity. We will also contribute to the society by enhancing its safety, security, public health amid global trends of aging society and digital transformation.’

Euisun Chung, Chairman of Hyundai Motor Group

‘Boston Dynamics is at the heart of smart robotics. We are thrilled to partner with Hyundai, one of the world’s leading global mobility companies, to accelerate the company’s path to commercialization. Boston Dynamics has a very bright future and we remain invested in the company’s success.’

Masayoshi Son, Representative Director, Corporate Officer, Chairman & CEO of SoftBank Group

‘Boston Dynamics’ commercial business has grown rapidly as we’ve brought to market the first robot that can automate repetitive and dangerous tasks in workplaces designed for human-level mobility. We and Hyundai share a view of the transformational power of mobility and look forward to working together to accelerate our plans to enable the world with cutting edge automation, and to continue to solve the world’s hardest robotics challenges for our customers.’

Robert Playter, CEO of Boston Dynamics

This deal has yet to be closed until the projected date of June 2021, due to being subject to regulations and approvals.

About Hyundai Motor Group

Hyundai Motor Group is headquartered in Seoul, South Korea. The company is a global automotive group that is involved in various industries, including the automobile, steel, machine tool, and logistics industries. Employing more than 16000 workers across 10 states, Hyundai Motor Group is a strong investor, manufacturer, and also innovator in the United States as well.

About SoftBank Group

SoftBank Group is a company headquartered in Tokyo, Japan. It is mainly a telecommunications company, though it has also been providing services and been involved in a range of industries. It recently sold Boston Dynamics to Hyundai Motor Group.

About Boston Dynamics

A world leader in robotics, Boston Dynamics is headquartered in Boston, Massachusetts, USA. Its grasp on robotics technology is unmatched, often taking on some of the field’s hardest challenges. Formerly owned by SoftBank Group, it has been acquired by Hyundai Motor Group.

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