• Kyodo

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Norwegian robotics and software firm AutoStore AS said Monday that Japanese investment giant SoftBank Group Corp. will acquire 40% of its shares for $2.8 billion.

SoftBank Group will buy AutoStore shares from private equity firm Thomas H. Lee Partners and other shareholders, aiming to close the deal later in the month, the Norwegian company said.

Founded in 1996, AutoStore provides warehouse automation systems. It currently deploys more than 20,000 robots in over 600 installations across 35 countries, with its clients including German sports goods maker Puma SE and Japanese furniture and interior goods chain operator Nitori Holdings Co.

“We view AutoStore as a foundational technology that enables rapid and cost-effective logistics for companies around the globe,” SoftBank Group Chairman and CEO Masayoshi Son said in a statement.

AutoStore CEO Karl Johan Lier said in the statement his company expects SoftBank’s contribution to help its growth in the Asia-Pacific region.

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