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SoftBank snaps up Bedford robotics firm Berkshire Grey

Berkshire Grey makes robotic systems for warehouses and retailers.David L. Ryan/Globe Staff

Japanese tech conglomerate SoftBank has agreed to take Bedford-based logistics robot company Berkshire Grey private in an all-cash transaction. SoftBank, which already owns a 29 percent stake in the company, will pay $375 million for the remainder. The deal is expected to close in the third quarter of this year.

Berkshire Grey was founded in 2013 by Tom Wagner, former chief technology officer of consumer robot maker iRobot. The company builds robotic systems for moving merchandise for warehouses and large retailers, including Walmart, Target, and TJX.

SoftBank has investments in a broad array of robotics companies. It formerly owned Waltham-based robot maker Boston Dynamics, but sold 80 percent of the company to South Korean conglomerate Hyundai for $1.1 billion in 2020.


Berkshire Grey went public in July of 2021 when it was acquired by a special purpose acquisition company, or SPAC. The firm began trading at $10 on the Nasdaq exchange but has seen its share value plummet to just over $1 since then. The announcement of the SoftBank deal pushed Berkshire Grey shares higher in after-hours trading on Friday.

Hiawatha Bray can be reached at hiawatha.bray@globe.com. Follow him @GlobeTechLab.