Amazon to invest in French firm’s technology for self-driving forklifts

Amazon will receive free stock warrants representing up to 29 percent of Balyo’s capital which it can exercise depending on orders of the company’s products. (File/AFP)
Updated 10 January 2019
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Amazon to invest in French firm’s technology for self-driving forklifts

  • Warehouse automation is a key element in efforts by Amazon to cut costs and speed up deliveries
  • Amazon will receive free stock warrants representing up to 29 percent of Balyo’s capital which it can exercise depending on orders of the company’s products

PARIS: Amazon could build a stake of almost a third in warehouse robotics firm Balyo in the next seven years, as part of a deal that could boost sales of the French company’s technology for self-driving forklift trucks.
Warehouse automation is a key element in efforts by Amazon to cut costs and speed up deliveries. The world’s biggest online retailer currently uses robots developed by Kiva Systems, a company it bought for $775 million in 2012.
“This agreement ... represents an unprecedented opportunity for Balyo to grow its business and supports the soundness of our investments over the years to perfect our robotic solutions,” Balyo Chief Executive Fabien Bardinet said on Thursday.
Under the terms of the deal, Amazon will receive free stock warrants representing up to 29 percent of Balyo’s capital which it can exercise depending on orders of the company’s products.
The full 29 percent would be exercised if Amazon orders up to 300 million euros ($346 million) of Balyo’s enabled products.
Balyo, whose navigation system turns forklifts into self-driving vehicles, said it expected 2018 revenue to come in at 23.3 million euros, up 40 percent on the previous year.


Paris Air Show: After Boeing showstopper, Airbus seeks order bounce

Updated 19 June 2019
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Paris Air Show: After Boeing showstopper, Airbus seeks order bounce

  • British Airways owner IAG signs letter of intent to buy 200 of its 737 MAX jets
  • Airbus is looking for up to 200 orders for the A321XLR, which is designed to open up new routes

PARIS: Airbus, reeling from the potential loss of a major customer for its best-selling A320neo as British Airways owner IAG placed a lifeline order for the grounded 737 MAX, prepared to hit back with more orders for its A321XLR on Wednesday.
The planemaker has been negotiating with US airlines investor Bill Franke whose Indigo Partners has also been known to place orders for multiple airlines within its portfolio and could reel it in for the Paris Air Show, industry sources said.
Airbus declined to comment.
After weathering intense scrutiny over safety and its public image, Boeing won a vote of confidence on Tuesday as IAG signed a letter of intent to buy 200 of its 737 MAX jets that have been grounded since March after two deadly crashes.
The surprise order lifted the energy of a previously subdued Paris Airshow, where the talk had been of the possible end of the aerospace cycle, given the issues at both Boeing and Airbus as well as geopolitical and trade tensions around the world.
Australia’s Qantas Airways said on Tuesday it would order 10 Airbus new A321XLR jets and convert a further 26 from existing orders already on the Airbus books.
Airbus is also in talks with leasing company GECAS and has been trying to secure an eye-catching order for the A321XLR from American Airlines, though the world’s largest carrier does not typically make announcements at air shows.
Airbus is looking for up to 200 orders for the A321XLR, which is designed to open up new routes.