Acquisition further accelerates Zebra’s growth in intelligent industrial automation as part of the company’s focus on robotics in customer-centric solutions
Zebra Technologies (NASDAQ: ZBRA), an innovator at the front line of business with solutions and partners that deliver a performance edge, today announced it intends to acquire Fetch Robotics, a pioneer in on-demand automation. Fetch's Autonomous Mobile Robots (AMRs) are used for optimized picking in fulfillment centers and distribution centers, just-in-time material delivery in manufacturing facilities and automating manual material movement in any facility.
Fetch features the largest portfolio of AMRs in the industry and offers seamless integration with warehouse and manufacturing systems without the need for changes to facilities or infrastructure. Workflow Builder, Fetch's drag and drop workflow development studio, enables out-of-the-box automation so that customers and partners can deploy automated material handling workflows in hours instead of months. Fetch Robotics' AMRs help reduce the impact of labor shortages by improving throughput, efficiency and productivity while working alongside people in fulfillment, distribution and manufacturing environments.
"The acquisition of Fetch Robotics will accelerate our Enterprise Asset Intelligence vision and growth in intelligent industrial automation by embracing new modes of empowering workflows and helping our customers operate more efficiently in increasingly automated, data-powered environments," said Anders Gustafsson, Chief Executive Officer of Zebra Technologies. "This move will also extend our ongoing commitment to optimize the supply chain from the point of production to the point of consumption. We are excited to welcome the Fetch team to the Zebra family."
In addition to Fetch Robotics' broad portfolio of AMRs, it offers cloud-based Enterprise Software, FetchCore as the foundational platform for deploying and fully integrating a broad range of automated workflows into manufacturing and warehouse operations and providing unique insights into facilities through machine learning on AMR sensor data. The planned acquisition furthers Zebra's vision to bring advanced robotics solutions to customers who have labor-intensive operations.
Zebra's focus on robotics automation combines workflow solutions for human workers, including current Zebra offerings such as FulfillmentEdge and SmartSight with Fetch Robotics' solutions. The result will provide an innovative offering that drives greater efficiencies and higher ROI through better orchestration of technology and people.
"The Fetch team is excited to join Zebra and accelerate the adoption of flexible automation through AMRs and our cloud-based robotics platform. Together we have the right team with the right technology to provide end-to-end solutions that solve real customer problems," said Melonee Wise, Chief Executive Officer of Fetch Robotics. "By helping customers dynamically optimize and holistically orchestrate their fulfillment, distribution, and manufacturing operations, together we help enable their ability to stay ahead of growing demand, minimize delivery times and address shrinking labor pools."
Fetch has made strong progress as a Zebra Ventures portfolio company. In its early-rapid growth phase, this high gross-margin profile business is generating annualized run-rate sales of approximately $10 million. Zebra's go-to-market footprint and vertical market expertise is expected to drive synergies as we integrate and invest in the business.
"Our goal is to give robots and people the opportunity to do their very best work," said Bill Burns, Chief Product & Solutions Officer, Zebra Technologies. "This acquisition is a continuation of what we expect to be a series of innovations that reflect our commitment to creating solutions that help our customers improve their operations through robotics."
Zebra expects to fund the $290 million purchase price - for the 95% of the business it does not already own - with cash on hand. The transaction is subject to customary closing conditions, including regulatory approval, and is expected to close in the third quarter of 2021.
Vedder Price is serving as legal counsel to Zebra. Fenwick & West is acting as legal counsel and Evercore is acting as financial advisor to Fetch.