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Teradyne buys Denmark’s Universal Robots for $285m

13 May, 2015

The US automated test equipment specialist Teradyne is buying the Danish collaborative robotics pioneer Universal Robots for $285m in cash, plus $65m if certain performance targets are met in the period to 2018. The acquisition is expected to close in the second quarter of 2015, subject to customary closing conditions and regulatory approval.

Privately-owned Universal Robots (UR) specialises in low-cost collaborative robots designed to operate alongside humans on production lines. Collaborative robotics is a $100m business that is growing by more than 50% per year.

“Universal Robots is the technology and sales leader in the fast-growing collaborative robot market and we are excited to have them join Teradyne,” says Teradyne’s president and CEO, Mark Jagiela. “This acquisition complements our system and wireless test businesses, while adding a powerful, additional growth platform to Teradyne.”

Universal Robotics, which was founded in 2005, has sold more than 4,000 of its collaborative robots since 2008. Last year, it raised its revenues by 70% above 2013 levels to reach more than $38m, with profit more than doubling.

“The combination will boost our ability to innovate and recruit even more and thus will extend our lead within collaborative robotics and be of benefit to all our end-users and partners,” says UR CEO, Enrico Krog Iversen. “At the same time, we are proud to add a brand new line of business to Teradyne.”

“Our operations have been profitable since late 2010,” he adds. “Teradyne’s world-class engineering and support capabilities and strong financial position will help accelerate the growth of our collaborative robots in new and existing markets – especially in Asia, where Teradyne holds a very strong position.”

Universal Robots' CEO, Enrico Krog Iversen: the combination will extend our lead

“I am very satisfied with Teradyne as the new owner of Universal Robots,” says UR chairman, Clas Nylandsted. “Among all the suitors, we chose to seek a common future with the very right one.”

Universal Robots was founded by three researchers who wanted to make robot technology accessible to all, and to make industrial robots that were affordable, flexible, user-friendly and safe to work with. Its product portfolio includes the UR3, UR5 and UR10 robot arms, named after their payloads in kilos.

Since the first UR robot entered the market in December 2008, the company has seen substantial growth and its arms are now sold in more than 50 countries. It claims an average payback period of 195 days – the fastest in the industry. Globally, Universal Robots employs more than 150 people.

Teradyne supplies equipment used to test semiconductors, wireless products, data storage and complex electronic systems. In 2014, it had revenues of $1.65bn and currently employs around 3,800 people worldwide. The UR acquisition gives Teradyne a strong position at an early stage in a high-growth segment.




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