United Robotics Group’s Acquisition of SoftBank Robotics SAS

CMS advised United Robotics Group on the deal. Herbert Smith Freehills advised SoftBank Robotics Group Corp.

Germany-based United Robotics Group is taking over the European robotics business of Japanese technology company SoftBank by acquiring SoftBank Robotics SAS, which is headquartered in Paris, France. In return, SoftBank will become a minority shareholder in the United Robotics Group, whose equity interests in the robotics sphere include Rethink Robotics, Humanizing Technologies, Entrance Robotics, and RobShare.

By acquiring SoftBank Robotics SAS, the United Robotics Group will become one of the world’s leading service robotics companies. It is indirectly majority owned by RSBG SE, the investment arm of the RAG-Stiftung foundation. The transaction is expected to complete in the second quarter of 2022 and is currently awaiting approval from the relevant authorities in Germany and France.

SoftBank Robotics SAS is a market leader in humanoid robotics and the developer and manufacturer of the world-renowned Pepper and NAO robots, for example. The United Robotics Group and SoftBank Robotics SAS have been partners since 2017. The United Robotics Group has been the master distributor in the European market since 2021, with responsibility for sales and service of Pepper and NAO. The joint venture will enable the United Robotics Group to expand its portfolio, which currently includes industrial robots and autonomous laboratory robots.

The CMS team included Dr Malte Bruhns (Picture), Lead Partner, Cologne; Laura Christin Stein, Counsel, Cologne; Matthias Engelen, Counsel, Cologne; Philipp Kunick, Senior Associate, Cologne; Christoph Schröer, Senior Associate, Cologne; Ramon Weistroffer, Senior Associate, Cologne, all Corporate/M&A; Thorsten Hemme, Principal Counsel, Cologne, TMC (Technology, Media & Communications); Dr Dirk Smielick, Principal Counsel, Cologne, Intellectual Property; Kai Neuhaus, Partner, Brussels; Dr Björn Herbers, Partner, Brussels; Moritz Pottek, Senior Associate, Brussels; Nadine Herda, Senior Associate, Brussels, all Competition & EU; Thomas Hains, Partner, Neuilly-sur-Seine; Anne-Flore Millet, Associate, Neuilly-sur-Seine; Louise Paysant, Associate, Neuilly-sur-Seine; Rafaële Gindre, Corporate jurist, Neuilly-sur-Seine, all Corporate/M&A; Anne-Laure Villedieu, Partner, Neuilly-sur-Seine; Candice Barreiro, Associate, Neuilly-sur-Seine, both Intellectual Property; Victoire Delloye, Associate, Neuilly-sur-Seine, Intellectual Property / Technology Media and Communications; Caroline Froger-Michon, Partner, Neuilly-sur-Seine; Camille Baumgarten, Associate, Neuilly-sur-Seine; Madeleine Bénistan, Associate, Neuilly-sur-Seine; Aurélie Parchet, Associate, Neuilly-sur-Seine, all Employment & Pensions; Johann Roc’h, Partner, Neuilly-sur-Seine; Henri Bitar, Partner, Neuilly-sur-Seine; Alexis Bussac, Counsel, Neuilly-sur-Seine; Maxime Carpentier, Tax Advisor, Neuilly-sur-Seine; Mélanie du Luart, Associate, Neuilly-sur-Seine, all Tax; Géraldine Machinet, Counsel, Neuilly-sur-Seine; Héloïse Gimbert, Associate, Neuilly-sur-Seine, both Real Estate; Guillaume Melot, Associate, Neuilly-sur-Seine, Competition; Dr Falk Lichtenstein, Partner, Beijing, Corporate/M&A.

Inhouse RSBG SE: Dr Jan Gudlick (COO, General Counsel) and Dr Jana Pannemann (Senior Legal Counsel).

Herbert Smith Freehills advised SBRG with a team led in Düsseldorf by Dr Soenke Becker, partner, Dr Christian Johnen, and  Lena von Richthofen, Counsel, Marjel Dema, senior associate, Dr Nikolaus Moench and Stefanie Strahl, associates, on corporate aspects, Dr Marcel Nuys, partner, Dr Florian Huerkamp, counsel and Mirko Gleitsmann, associate on competition aspects; in Frankfurt by Dr Steffen Hoerner, partner and Tatiana Guenster, senior associate, on tax matters, Moritz Kunz, partner and Dr Anja Lingscheid, counsel, on employment law aspects, Dr Sven Wortberg, partner and Ja Yeon Youm, associate, on real estate matters, as well as Kai Liebrich, partner and Sophia Peter, associate, on financing aspects; and in Paris by Frédéric Bouvet, partner, Camille Lartigue, senior associate, and Thaïs Recanati, associate,  on corporate aspects, supported by Sophie Brezin, partner, on employment law aspects and Bruno Knadjian, partner and Margaux Constantes, associate, on tax matters. 

Involved fees earner: Falk Lichtenstein – CMS China; Moritz Pottek – CMS DeBacker; Candice Barreiro – CMS Francis Lefebvre Avocats; Camille Baumgarten – CMS Francis Lefebvre Avocats; Madeleine Benistan – CMS Francis Lefebvre Avocats; Henri Bitar – CMS Francis Lefebvre Avocats; Alexis Bussac – CMS Francis Lefebvre Avocats; Maxime Carpentier – CMS Francis Lefebvre Avocats; Victoire Delloye – CMS Francis Lefebvre Avocats; Mélanie Du Luart – CMS Francis Lefebvre Avocats; Caroline Froger-Michon – CMS Francis Lefebvre Avocats; Héloïse Gimbert – CMS Francis Lefebvre Avocats; Rafaële Gindre – CMS Francis Lefebvre Avocats; Thomas Hains – CMS Francis Lefebvre Avocats; Géraldine Machinet – CMS Francis Lefebvre Avocats; Guillaume Melot – CMS Francis Lefebvre Avocats; Anne-Flore Millet – CMS Francis Lefebvre Avocats; Aurélie Parchet – CMS Francis Lefebvre Avocats; Louise Paysant – CMS Francis Lefebvre Avocats; Johann Roch’ – CMS Francis Lefebvre Avocats; Anne-Laure Villedieu – CMS Francis Lefebvre Avocats; Malte Bruhns – CMS Hasche Sigle; Matthias Engelen – CMS Hasche Sigle; Thorsten Hemme – CMS Hasche Sigle; Björn Herbers – CMS Hasche Sigle; Philipp Kunick – CMS Hasche Sigle; Nadine Herda – CMS Hasche Sigle; Kai Neuhaus – CMS Hasche Sigle; Christoph Schröer – CMS Hasche Sigle; Dirk Smielick – CMS Hasche Sigle; Laura Stein – CMS Hasche Sigle; Ramon Weistroffer – CMS Hasche Sigle; Soenke Becker – Herbert Smith Freehills; Frédéric Bouvet – Herbert Smith Freehills; Sophie Brezin – Herbert Smith Freehills; Margaux Constantes – Herbert Smith Freehills; Marjel Dema – Herbert Smith Freehills; Mirko Gleitsmann – Herbert Smith Freehills; Tatiana Guenster – Herbert Smith Freehills; Steffen Hoerner – Herbert Smith Freehills; Florian Huerkamp – Herbert Smith Freehills; Christian Johnen – Herbert Smith Freehills; Bruno Knadjian – Herbert Smith Freehills; Moritz Kunz – Herbert Smith Freehills; Camille Lartigue – Herbert Smith Freehills; Kai Liebrich – Herbert Smith Freehills; Anja Lingscheid – Herbert Smith Freehills; Nikolaus Moench – Herbert Smith Freehills; Marcel Nuys – Herbert Smith Freehills; Sophia Peter – Herbert Smith Freehills; Thaïs Recanati – Herbert Smith Freehills; Stefanie Strahl – Herbert Smith Freehills; Lena von Richthofen – Herbert Smith Freehills; Sven Wortberg – Herbert Smith Freehills;

Law Firms: CMS China; CMS DeBacker; CMS Francis Lefebvre Avocats; CMS Hasche Sigle; Herbert Smith Freehills;

Clients: RSBG SE; SoftBank Robotics Group Corp.; United Robotics Group GmbH;

Federica Tiefenthaler

Author: Federica Tiefenthaler