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Robotics Acquisitions Galore: Teledyne Technologies Acquiring E2V Technologies

It's been a big year for acquisitions of companies involved in robotics and automation: 48 have sold thus far in 2016. Eight involved amounts over $500 million and five were over a billion; KUKA's acquisition by Chinese consumer products giant Midea was the biggest at $5.11 billion.

Teledyne Technologies acquires E2V Technologies

The most recent is Teledyne Technologies, which specializes in deepwater gas and oil exploration and production, oceanographic research, air and water quality environmental monitoring, electronics design and development, factory automation and medical imaging, in an all cash $780 million transaction, to acquire British imaging sensor maker E2V Technologies. Teledyne's offer represents a 48% premium on last weeks E2V's closing price.

E2V's imaging devices, machine vision cameras for sensitive, high speed inspection processes, industrial processing systems, and other sensors, enable a range of industrial robotic and automation systems to work more efficiently and for space science and astronomy applications. E2V also provides high reliability semiconductors and board-level solutions for use in aerospace, space and radio frequency communications applications. For the year ended March 31, 2016, E2V had sales of approximately $300 million.

“We have followed e2v for more than a decade. Over time, as both Teledyne and e2v evolved, our businesses have become increasingly aligned. In fact, every business within e2v is highly complementary to Teledyne. As important, there is minimal product overlap,” said Robert Mehrabian, Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer of Teledyne. “For example, we are both leaders in space and astronomy imaging, but Teledyne largely provides infrared detectors and e2v provides visible light sensors.

“In machine vision applications, e2v’s advanced capabilities in proprietary CMOS sensor design add to Teledyne’s strengths in cameras and vision systems. While Teledyne designs advanced mixed signal circuits for government and commercial applications, e2v’s broader product portfolio enhances our offerings and channels to market.”

Big year for acquisitions

Both Teledyne and E2V are members of the ROBO Global Robotics & Automation UCITS Index, an index of 82 stocks from around the world that reflect the robotics and automation industry (and of which I am a co-founder). ARCAM, Swisslog, Kuka, Mako, Zygo and Atmel were other publicly-traded stocks which also got acquired in 2016 and recent years.

Of the 48 acquisitions thus far in 2016, only 30 disclosed the amounts involved. However those 30 transactions totaled an astounding $17,500,000,000!

  1. Aerial MOB by 5D Robotics
  2. Aesynt by Omnicell
  3. Affymetrix by ThermoFisher
  4. Arcam AB by GE
  5. Ascending Tech by Intel
  6. Bluefin by GD Mission Systems
  7. Cabinplant A/S by CTB
  8. Cruise Automation by GM
  9. Dematic by Kion Group
  10. Drone Services USA by Howco
  11. E2V by Teledyne
  12. Eagle Scout by Deveron UAS
  13. Ecoclean Group (Dürr) by Shenyang Blue Silver
  14. Ergopedia by Pasco Scientific
  15. Gatewing (Trimble) by Delair-Tech
  16. Gimatic by Agic Capital
  17. Grohmann Engr by Tesla
  18. Hansen by Auris
  19. Hocomo by DIH Intl
  20. Intelligrated by Honeywell
  21. Interactive Motion Technologies by Bionik Labs
  22. iRobot Defense by Endeavor
  23. Jaybridge Robotics by Toyota
  24. Jorgensen Engineering by Zano
  25. KraussMaffei by ChemChina
  26. KUKA by Midea
  27. Liquid Robotics by Boeing
  28. Maverick Technologies by Rockwell Automation
  29. Mikrotron by Ambienta
  30. Moodstocks by Google
  31. Movidius by Intel
  32. NDC Automation by Dematic
  33. Otto Motors by Uber
  34. PAS by Swisslog
  35. Paslin by Wanfeng
  36. Point Grey Research by FLIR Systems
  37. Prox Dynamics by FLIR Systems
  38. Retrotech by Egemin
  39. RoboRobo by Shengtong Printing
  40. SLM Solutions Group by GE
  41. SVIA by ABB
  42. Thrust UAV by PCS Edventures
  43. Time Domain by 5D Robotics
  44. Tumblejump by Apple
  45. Turi by Apple
  46. Voith by Triton
  47. Westfalia Group by Horizon Global
  48. Zimmer Biomet by Medtech

One CEO of a selling company, Enrico Krog Iversen, who sold Danish Universal Robots to American Teradyne in 2015, when asked if it was a trend that robotics-related companies were exiting to larger companies or funds instead of going public, said:

Exiting to a larger company will often make sense not only for financial reasons, but also for people reasons – opening up for new/more career opportunities. You will become part of something bigger and can instantly get access to additional resources. Naturally there are also some political considerations if you choose this path.

Exiting to a fund is also a good financial solution and you will probably get access to a very strong board who can help you develop the company faster.

An IPO may bring more money on paper, but it is a very restricted way to exit and it is also very bureaucratic to run a listed company. In our case, I preferred to have a good sum of money in the bank instead of a lot of money on paper. Also I did not personally fancy all the bureaucracy and politics that goes with being CEO of a listed company.

The Robot Report's annual recap of fundings, acquisitions and IPOs will appear just after the new year. Stay tuned.



Contributed by ROBO Global co-founder Frank Tobe, Editor & Publisher of The Robot Report

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