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AutoStore, a 2021 RBR50 Robotics Innovation Award Winner, made its debut this morning on Euronext’s Oslo Stock Exchange. The Norwegian robotics firm priced its initial public offering (IPO) at 31 Norwegian crowns per share, which valued the company at 103.5 billion crowns ($12.4 billion).
Shortly after trading started Wednesday morning, AutoStore’s shares were up 8.1% to 33.5 crowns. According to Reuters, AutoStore is Norway’s biggest IPO in two decades. Statoil, which is now known as Equinor, was valued at 151 billion crowns at the time of its IPO in 2001.
“The money we get from the IPO will be used primarily to deleverage the debt to a level that is more normal for a public company,” AutoStore CEO Karl Johan Lier told Reuters.
Founded in 1996, AutoStore has 20,000 robots deployed across more than 35 countries to automate warehouses. The company, whose customers include ASDA, Gucci and Lufthansa, develops an automated storage and retrieval system (ASRS) that it claims allows customers to store four times the inventory in the same space.
SoftBank bought a 40% stake in AutoStore in April 2021 for $2.8 billion. At the time, this deal valued AutoStore at about $7 billion. SoftBank did not sell stock in the IPO.
“SoftBank is a very good partner, ready to help us drive more attention in the APAC region … they have a large network of companies that can potentially be AutoStore customers so we see a lot of potential with the relationship,” Lier said.
AutoStore generated net revenue of $182.1 million in 2020 and expects revenue of about $300 million in 2021. It expects that to rise to more than $500 million in 2022 with a project pipeline worth $3.4 billion across 2,000 projects.
AutoStore and competitor Ocado are engaged in a patent infringement lawsuit. AutoStore sued Ocado in October 2020, alleging its AS/RS system and robots are the foundation on which Ocado’s Smart Platform was built and on which Ocado’s business today is based.
Mike Demko, head of AutoStore’s micro-fulfillment center business line, was a recent guest on The Robot Report Podcast. You can listen to that episode of the podcast below.