Shopify to buy robot fulfilment company for $450M


Shopify Inc. agreed to buy 6 River Systems Inc., a company that uses robots and software to help fill retailers orders in warehouses.

The acquisition of closely held Waltham, Massachusetts-based 6 River is valued at $450 million (U.S.), consisting of about 60 per cent cash and 40 per cent voting shares in Shopify’s stock, according to a statement from both companies on Monday.

It’s another step in Shopify’s plans to spend $1 billion to set up a fulfilment business in the U.S. to help merchants using its e-commerce platform deliver products, similar to Amazon.com Inc. 6 River was founded by executives who came from Kiva Systems, now Amazon Robotics, and it operates in more than 20 facilities across the U.S., Canada and Europe. It fulfils order for companies including Lockheed Martin Corp. and Office Depot Inc.

The deal, which is expected to close in the fourth quarter, is expected to increase Shopify’s expenses by about $25 million (Canadian) in 2019, with no material impact on its revenue for the year.

Shopify shares fell 5.9 per cent to $472.05 in Toronto on Monday and have gained 150 per cent this year.

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