The SSI Schaefer Group, a leading international provider of modular warehousing and logistics solutions employing some 10,000 people, and DS Automotion GmbH, a leading provider of mobile robotics (AGV – Automated Guided Vehicles and AMR – Autonomous Mobile Robots) headquartered in Linz, signed an agreement under which SSI Schaefer will acquire all shares in DS Automotion GmbH.
SSI Schaefer will thus expand the minority interest it has held since 2018 to reflect the growing importance of autonomous and mobile robotics and the AGV business in intralogistics. The acquisition of the remaining shares will take effect on March 1st, 2023 and is subject to approval by Austria’s Federal Competition Authority.
The parties agreed not to disclose the purchase price of the shares. The management team led by Managing Directors Manfred Hummenberger and Wolfgang Hillinger will stay on board. DS Automotion will continue to operate independently with its well-established brand.
“The partnership with DS Automotion has been clearly intensified over the past two years, and the AGV business in intralogistics is growing very dynamically,” says Steffen Bersch, CEO of the SSI Schaefer Group. “Therefore, we are very pleased that the company, which is a leading player in the international market, will become a full member of the SSI Schaefer Group. Together, we will continue our growth story in robotics.”
The further development of autonomous mobile robots (AMR) is one of the key joint initiatives in the context of the general realignment of the robotics business. Characterized by simple commissioning and flexible applications, this product segment is becoming increasingly important and offers excellent growth opportunities. DS Automotion has developed standards such as Plannable Autonomy and Cooperative Navigation in this product segment, which help combine the benefits of flexibility with the reliability and availability of industrial systems. This transformation is based on DS Automotion’s high in-house technology expertise, which builds on 40 years of navigation and control know-how.
“DS Automotion has grown strongly and continuously over the past years, and by placing a stronger focus on technology and product standardization, we have greatly increased the quality and performance of the company,” says Manfred Hummenberger, CEO of DS Automotion. “To continue to keep pace with the rapid developments in this industry, now is the right time to take the cooperation with SSI Schaefer to a new level and to participate in the global growth opportunities of the robotics sector by joining forces.”
The acquisition of the remaining shares in DS Automotion represents an important milestone in expanding the technology leadership of the SSI Schaefer Group and will strengthen its competitiveness and innovation power in robotics and automation, which are pioneering for intralogistics.
At the same time, DS Automotion will continue to operate in the established fields such as production and healthcare logistics as well as assembly systems. These segments will continue to be further expanded with a focus on innovation and existing customer relationships will be strengthened.