Rockwell Automation, an American industrial automation giant, has agreed to acquire Clearpath Robotics, an autonomous robot maker based in Waterloo, Ontario. The deal is estimated to be worth between $550 million and $600 million upfront, with a total payout to shareholders that could exceed $600 million if Clearpath meets certain performance targets. The acquisition is expected to close this year and Clearpath will become part of Rockwell’s intelligent devices division.
Clearpath Robotics, founded in 2009 by four University of Waterloo engineering graduates, initially developed technology for mine removal in war zones. However, in recent years, the company shifted its focus to developing driverless vehicles for hazardous jobs in manufacturing and industrial plants. In 2015, Clearpath launched its OTTO Motors subsidiary, which specializes in selling autonomous vehicles to the automotive, consumer packaged goods, and home appliance manufacturing sectors. OTTO Motors has seen rapid growth and its customers include major manufacturing companies such as General Electric, Toyota, and Nestle.
The acquisition of Clearpath Robotics is a significant move for Rockwell Automation, as the company aims to tap into the fast-growing market of automation technology. The deal is expected to contribute to Rockwell’s revenue growth in the 2024 fiscal year and is a testament to the increasing demand for automation solutions in response to labor shortages and a changing geopolitical environment.
This acquisition is also a major success for Canadian investors, who have supported Clearpath through its development. Inovia Capital, Kensington Private Equity Fund, BMO Capital Partners, McRock Capital, and other Canadian funds have invested in the company. Foreign investors, including Mitsubishi Electric Corp., RRE Ventures, Caterpillar Ventures, and GE Ventures, have also put money into Clearpath.
Overall, the acquisition of Clearpath Robotics by Rockwell Automation demonstrates the growing importance of automation technology in various industries, and highlights the success of a Canadian company in this sector.
– The Globe and Mail
– Clearpath Robotics Inc.