Drives and Controls Magazine
Omron buys the biggest US robot-maker for $200m
Published:  16 September, 2015

The Japanese automation giant Omron is buying Adept, the largest American manufacturer of industrial robots, in a deal that values Adept at about $200m. Omron is offering Adept investors $13 per share of common stock, which represents a 63% premium over the closing price on September 15, 2015.

By adding Adept’s robotics technology to its portfolio, Omron argues that it will be well-positioned to help manufacturers in the automotive, food and beverage, packaging and other industries, to cut costs, shorten supply cycles and improve productivity.

This acquisition will also accelerate and expand Omron’s “ILO+S” (Input, Logic, Output and Safety) strategy for its industrial automation business, by adding R (robotics) and extending the strategy to “ILO+S+R”. Omron asserts that it currently has the world’s most comprehensive automation product portfolio spanning the ILO+S spectrum.

The acquisition comes less than two months after the Japanese company acquired another US automation company, the motion control specialist, Delta Tau.

“We are delighted Adept Technology, a world leader in robotics, has agreed to join Omron,” says Yutaka Miyanaga, president of Omron’s industrial automation business. “This acquisition is part of our strategy to enhance our automation technology and position us for long-term growth. Robotics will elevate our offering of advanced automation.”

Following the transaction, Adept’s president and CEO, Rob Cain, will continue to lead the business. “We are excited about the opportunity to join Omron, a global leader in automation,” he says. “Together, our products will offer new innovative solutions to customers all around the globe.”

Adept's portfolio includes delta-type robots

California-based Adept, founded in 1983, recorded sales of $54.2m and a gross margin of 42% in the year to June, 2015. Its product lines include autonomous mobile robots, industrial robots, configurable linear modules, machine controllers for robot mechanisms and other flexible automation equipment, as well as machine vision systems and software. There are currently more than 25,000 non-captive robots, built specifically with Adept’s customers in mind, and more than 30,000 Adept-controlled robots installed around the world.

Adept’s strategy is to provide a broad range of reliable integrated products and world-class service to allow manufacturers to maximise productivity, safety, flexibility and product quality.

Omron expects the transaction to close on or about October 22, 2015. It is subject to customary closing conditions, including at least a majority of shares of Adept common stock being tendered in the offer. The transaction has been approved by the boards of directors of both companies.