The British on-line grocery store Ocado is buying two US robotics start-ups


A robotic arm developed by Haddington Dynamics.

Haddington Dynamics

LONDON – Ocado, a UK online supermarket, announced on Monday that it had acquired two robotics companies in the US to make its warehouses more efficient.

The company, which also raised its full-year earnings guidance, has agreed to sell San Francisco-based robotics company Kindred Systems for $ 262 million in cash and Las Vegas company Haddington Dynamics for $ 25 million in cash and buy stocks.

"In our mission to solve one of the world's greatest robotics challenges, food picking and packaging, we are acquiring two leading robotics companies," Ocado wrote in an announcement.

Kindred Systems, with a total of around 45 engineers and 90 employees, builds robots that are used to pick and pack online orders, while Haddington Dynamics manufactures robotic arms.

Tim Steiner, Ocado's chief executive, said the acquisitions would enable the company "to accelerate delivery, innovate more and grow faster".

The purchases will have a small impact on earnings, but they will also increase sales by roughly £ 30 million ($ 38.7 million) in the next fiscal year, Ocado said.

While many businesses have been hit by the pandemic, Ocado's business has benefited from many people turning to online shopping.

In an update on retail, Ocado said its joint venture with UK retail chain Marks & Spencer remained strong in the fourth quarter of the fiscal year.

The retailer now expects earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization of more than £ 60 million for the year to the end of November, after previously forecasting more than £ 40 million.

Ocado's shares, valued at around £ 18 billion, rose over 9% on Monday.


Katherine Clark