MMH    Topics 

AutoStore acquired by Thomas H. Lee Partners

Investment will fund continued growth and research and development

Private equity firm Thomas H. Lee Partners, L.P. announced on Tuesday, June 25, 2019, that it had a definitive agreement to acquire AutoStore, a Norwegian-based provider of robotics and software order fulfillment solutions to warehouses and distribution centers around the world.

This marks at least third investment by THL in the supply chain and materials handling space in recent years. In 2017, THL acquired MHS, a Louisville-based provider of parcel handling systems. More recently, in March 2019, the firm announced an investment in Fortna, a supply chain consulting and design firm.

Members of AutoStore’s senior management and equity teams, among others, will continue to hold minority positions in the company. The equity team will also remain on the board alongside THL going forward. Terms of the transaction, which is expected to close during the third quarter of 2019, were not disclosed.

Founded in 1996 and located in Nedre Vats, Norway, AutoStore designs and engineers patented high- speed robots, highly modular and flexible cube storage grid systems and the proprietary controls software that enable its customers to achieve nearly four times the inventory storage relative to manual alternatives, with enhanced inventory picking speed and accuracy.

With over 11,000 robots in operation across 28 countries, AutoStore is the most deployed provider of gridbased, high density goods-to-person systems, participating in the global automated storage and retrieval systems (“ASRS”) market. Global megatrends, including the increasing focus on automation and robotization, urbanization and need for space efficient solutions, as well as eCommerce demands requiring increased speed and accuracy, are all expected to continue to fuel AutoStore’s growth globally.

The recapitalization will ensure AutoStore has the resources needed to build upon its leading robotic technology and software platform, accelerate new product innovation for its customers, and execute on broader global growth objectives.

“We are thrilled about the opportunity to partner with the AutoStore team,” said Jim Carlisle, managing director at THL. “Through its grid-based technology and proprietary software platform, AutoStore has demonstrated a superb reputation in the marketplace underpinned by its visionary engineering and R&D talent, impressive global distribution network, and exceptional product quality. We are excited to invest behind Karl Johan and his team and look forward to supporting AutoStore’s rapid growth.”

“Today’s announcement marks a great step forward into the next phase of our Company’s growth,” said AutoStore CEO and president, Karl Johan Lier. “We are excited to partner with THL, who have deep industry expertise and financial and operational resources to help accelerate AutoStore’s overall growth strategy, including our continued geographic expansion.”

Morgan Stanley & Co. LLC acted as financial advisor, Kirkland & Ellis LLP acted as legal advisor, PwC acted as accounting and tax advisor and Marsh acted as insurance & benefits advisor to THL.

Article Topics

NextGen Technology
Thomas H. Lee Partners
   All topics

Latest in Materials Handling

Services economy activity grows again in May, reports ISM
Autonomous mobile robot provider MiR marks its 10th anniversary
Hy-Tek Intralogistics and Hai Robotics announce partnership
KPI Solutions expands with a new Atlanta office
Manufacturing declines for the seventh straight month in May, says ISM
National Forklift Safety Day coming up on June 13
Made4net acquired by Ingka Group, with global software rollout with IKEA coming
More Materials Handling

Subscribe to Materials Handling Magazine

Subscribe today!
Not a subscriber? Sign up today!
Subscribe today. It's FREE.
Find out what the world's most innovative companies are doing to improve productivity in their plants and distribution centers.
Start your FREE subscription today.

May 2023 Modern Materials Handling

An iconic American brand is partnering with DHL Supply Chain to build out a network to meet soaring demand. It’s also turning to flexible automation to optimize operations.

Latest Resources

Why Should You Deploy Autonomous Mobile Robots on the Factory Floor?
For managing material handling needs specifically, many manufacturers are deploying Autonomous Mobile Robots (AMRs) to improve efficiency and productivity.
Warehouse Insights: Tackling Space in Micro-fulfillment
AutoStore: The Right Technology & The Right Integrator
More resources

Latest Resources

2023 Automation Study: Usage & Implementation of Warehouse/DC Automation Solutions
2023 Automation Study: Usage & Implementation of Warehouse/DC Automation Solutions
This research was conducted by Peerless Research Group on behalf of Modern Materials Handling to assess usage and purchase intentions forautomation systems...
How Your Storage Practices Can Affect Your Pest Control Program
How Your Storage Practices Can Affect Your Pest Control Program
Discover how your storage practices could be affecting your pest control program and how to prevent pest infestations in your business. Join...

Warehousing Outlook 2023
Warehousing Outlook 2023
2023 is here, and so are new warehousing trends.
Extend the Life of Brownfield Warehouses
Extend the Life of Brownfield Warehouses
Today’s robotic and data-driven automation systems can minimize disruptions and improve the life and productivity of warehouse operations.
Power Supply in Overhead Cranes: Energy Chains vs. Festoons
Power Supply in Overhead Cranes: Energy Chains vs. Festoons
Download this white paper to learn more about how both systems compare.