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

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.


Air Arabia in $14bn deal to buy 120 Airbus A320s

Updated 42 min 30 sec ago

Air Arabia in $14bn deal to buy 120 Airbus A320s

  • Air Arabia currently operates a total fleet of 53 Airbus A320 and A321 aircraft
  • The new carrier, Air Arabia Abu Dhabi, will be launched in “due course,” Etihad said at the time

DUBAI: Air Arabia said Monday it would buy 120 Airbus A320s in a deal worth $14 billion that represents a major expansion for the United Arab Emirates low-cost carrier.

“The first delivery is expected to start in 2024,” said Adel Al-Ali, the CEO of Air Arabia, based in the emirate of Sharjah which borders Dubai.

Air Arabia currently operates a total fleet of 53 Airbus A320 and A321 aircraft.

Last month it announced an agreement with Abu Dhabi-based giant Etihad Airways to launch a new low-cost airline based in the UAE capital.

The new carrier, Air Arabia Abu Dhabi, will be launched in “due course,” Etihad said at the time.

Etihad, established in 2003 by the oil-rich Gulf emirate’s government, has faced stiff competition from Dubai aviation giant Emirates and Doha-based Qatar Airways.