SoftBank’s $2.8 Billion Investment in AutoStore

Kirkland and NautaDutilh advised Thomas H. Lee Partners on the deal.

SoftBank entered into a definitive agreement to acquire 40% of AutoStore from funds affiliated with Thomas H. Lee Partners, L.P. (“THL”) and EQT Private Equity (“EQT”), among other shareholders, for $2.8 billion. THL will continue to be AutoStore’s majority shareholder and THL, SoftBank and EQT will each have representatives on AutoStore’s Board of Directors. The transaction is subject to customary closing conditions and is expected to close in April 2021.

The transaction values AutoStore at an enterprise value of $7.7 billion. AutoStore is a Norwegian-based warehouse automation company that utilizes robot-enabled technology to optimize storage and warehouse capabilities.

The SoftBank Group invests in breakthrough technology to improve the quality of life for people around the world. Thomas H. Lee Partners, L.P. (“THL”) is a premier private equity firm investing in middle market growth companies exclusively in three sectors: Financial Services, Healthcare and Technology & Business Solutions.

The Kirkland team advising THL was led by corporate partners Ted Frankel (Picture) and Christopher Elder and associates Kyle McHugh and Ziyad Ziyadzade, and also involved capital markets partners William Burke and Robert Hayward, tax partners Dean Shulman, Sehj Vather, Timothy Lowe and Cian O’Connor and associate Simon Kwong, international trade and national security partner Mario Mancuso and associate Luci Hague, and antitrust partners Ian John, Jeffrey Ayer, Sarah Jordan and Matthew Sinclair-Thomson.

The NautaDutilh’s Corporate team consisted of Greet Wilkenhuysen, David Al Mari and Frédéric Boidin.

Involved fees earner: Jeffrey Ayer – Kirkland & Ellis; William Burke – Kirkland & Ellis; Christopher Elder – Kirkland & Ellis; Ted Frankel – Kirkland & Ellis; Luci Hague – Kirkland & Ellis; Robert Hayward – Kirkland & Ellis; Ian John – Kirkland & Ellis; Sarah Jordan – Kirkland & Ellis; Simon Kwong – Kirkland & Ellis; Timothy Lowe – Kirkland & Ellis; Mario Mancuso – Kirkland & Ellis; Kyle McHugh – Kirkland & Ellis; Cian O’Connor – Kirkland & Ellis; Dean Shulman – Kirkland & Ellis; Matthew Sinclair-Thomson – Kirkland & Ellis; Sehj Vather – Kirkland & Ellis; Ziyad Ziyadzade – Kirkland & Ellis; David Al Mari – NautaDutilh; Frédéric Boidin – NautaDutilh; Greet Wilkenhuysen – NautaDutilh;

Law Firms: Kirkland & Ellis; NautaDutilh;

Clients: Thomas H. Lee Partners, L.P.;

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Author: Martina Bellini