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Robot maker AutoStore valued at $12bn in Oslo IPO

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Warehouse robot maker AutoStore valued at $12bn in Oslo IPO. Photo: AutoStore
AutoStore's robots store and retrieve products in warehouses. Photo: AutoStore

Norwegian robotics firm AutoStore announced on Wednesday that it had priced its initial public offering on Euronext’s Oslo Stock Exchange at 31 Norwegian crowns per share, the top of its target range.

Its share rose 8.1% shortly after trading began on Wednesday morning.

The move values the warehouse robot technology company at 103.5 billion Norwegian crowns ($12.4bn, £8.9bn) and will make it the country’s most valuable new listing in 20 years.

SoftBank-backed AutoStore works in the cube storage automation sector focused on combining “software and hardware with human abilities to create the future of warehousing.”

Its customers are in the e-commerce, grocery, industrial, and healthcare sectors and include Asda, Gucci and Lufthansa (LHA.DE), which use its robots to store and retrieve products in their warehouses, allowing them to store four times the inventory in the same space.

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“Our product does not just address a short-term peak, but is a structural, long-term shift to meet changing market demands,” said CEO Karl Johan Lier.

He told Reuters “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.”

The company raised 2.7 billion crowns in cash from the issue of new shares, while existing owners such as Thomas H. Lee Partners sold stock worth 15.3 billion crowns.

In April, SoftBank (9984.T) bought a 40% stake in the Norwegian company for $2.8bn.

At the time, Masayoshi Son, CEO of SoftBank Group, said: “We view AutoStore as a foundational technology that enables rapid and cost-effective logistics for companies around the globe."

SoftBank did not sell any shares in the IPO.

AutoStore reported net revenue of $182.1m last year and expects revenue of about $300m in 2021, rising to more than $500m in 2022.

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