Amazon will invest about $346 million in French firm Balyo for self-driving...

Amazon will invest about $346 million in French firm Balyo for self-driving forklifts technology


Amazon entered into an agreement to buy self-driving forklift trucks from French company Balyo, said the company on Thursday.

Through the announced deal, Amazon, in next seven years besides getting cost cutting and  faster deliveries, will also get an opportunity to build about 29 percent stake in warehouse robotics firm whereas to the other end the deal will help Balyo, whose navigation system turns forklifts into self-driving vehicles, to enhance sales of its technology.

France based Balyo is a technological leader in designing robotic solutions and Amazon, to reduce costs, increase flexibility and simplify operations, uses automation in its fulfillment centers. For an intense demand of automation in its centers, in 2012, Amazon had bought Kiva Systems for $775 million and it currently has been using Kiva developed robots for its warehouse automation.

Under the terms agreed in the deal, Balyo will provide free stock warrants representing up to 29 percent of its share to Amazon, which will be based on Amazon’s purchase of Balyo-enabled products. In the case of Amazon orders up to 300 million euros ($346 million) of Balyo’s enabled products; the full 29 percent shares capital and voting rights will become exercisable to Amazon. Amazon will also have a right to appoint an observer at Balyo’s board of directors under the terms of the agreement, said Balyo.

Balyo’s Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Fabien Bardinet, while commenting on the agreement expressed the company’s to be proud for and mark it as an acknowledgement of spanning over years efforts and investments to make its robotic solutions flawless. He also added that the agreement will also bear an extraordinary opportunity for the company to increase business.

Balyo has been expecting revenues for 2018 to be coming in at 23.3 million euros ($26.90 million) which will be 40 percent up from the revenues for 2017.

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I am a lecturer at the University of Economics in Bratislava, department of Banking and International Finance. I have a Ph.D. academic degree, my dissertation was focused on major markets. Commodities and stock markets are also the main focus of my research and publication activities. I have approximately 10 years of investing experiences. My investments mostly focus on small- to mid-cap companies of energy sector, financial and technology.