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German Group Acquires SoftBank Robotics Europe, Maker of Pepper and Nao Robots

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April 12, 2022

The United Robotics Group (URG), a subsidiary of the RAG-Stiftung in Essen, Germany, has announced an agreement with SoftBank Robotics Group Corp. (SRGB) to acquire the French subsidiary SoftBank Robotics Europe SAS (SBRE). SBRG will acquire a minority stake in URG and the two companies will continue to cooperate in the global marketing of various robots, including the Pepper and NAO humanoid robots.

URG has been the master distributor in the European market since October 2021, responsible for sales, service and maintenance of Pepper and NAO. URG companies such as Humanizing Technologies and ENTRANCE Robotics have already been partners of SBRE since 2017.

Together, the companies aim to have a strong partnership to develop and distribute various robots, including Pepper, and will continue to provide services to customers around the world.

SBRE said it will revert to its former name of Aldebaran, a pioneer in interaction robotics and the academics market. Xavier Lacherade, the general manager at SBRE, will continue to lead the company. The transaction is expected to close in Q2 2022.

“We are pleased to welcome SBRE with more than 180 exceptionally motivated robotics specialists,” said Thomas Hähn, founder and CEO of URG. “This is an important step for us on the way to further internationalizing our company. The future Aldebaran with their strong reputation in the market will help us to further expand our great potential in combining interaction robotics with our knowledge in collaborative industrial robotics.”

“We are strengthening our strategic partnerships with various robotics leader companies around the world,” added Fumihide Tomizawa, president and CEO of SoftBank Robotics Group. “We are very pleased to form a strong partnership with a successful company, URG. We will leverage this great relationship to develop and market Pepper and a variety of other robots.”

“We know URG as a strategic partner in sales, services and software development,” said Xavier Lacherade from SBRE. “I am very excited about the combination of the two companies into one large network. I am firmly convinced that the short management paths, which are also characterized by the German-French friendship, will inspire the work on both sides of the Rhine and lead us to new successes in the near future.”

For more details on United Robotics Group, visit its website here.


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