United Arab Emirates (UAE)'s military equipment firm, EDGE Group has acquired a 50% stake in Estonian robotic infantry vehicle manufacturer, Milrem Robotics for an unspecifified sum.
Milrem Robotics CEO and founder Kuldar Väärsi told local media ERR today that the remaining shares are owned by a consortium consting of Väärsi's own company, German defense firm Krauss-Maffei Wegmann, besides private investors and Milrem Robotics' employees. According to Väärsi, Milrem Robotics' market value is in hundreds of millions of euros.
The new investment is expected to lead to an expansion in the company's product portfolio, Väärsi said. "Where today we have, broadly speaking, two mobility platforms - a small and a large unmanned ground vehicle – this number will grow to six or seven."
"In addition, we will also bring in battlefield command and management systems, to provide a holistic view of the battlefield from a robotics perspective," he added.
Milrem Robotics will retain its Tallinn headquarters and continue operating as before, with subsidiaries in Finland, Sweden, the Netherlands and the United States.
The company's management team will also remain unchanged, with Riho Terras staying on as chair of the supervisory board. Väärsi was quoted as saying, "We want to be a global leader in the development and production of land robotics."
Following the acquisition, the workforce is expected to increase from the present 200 to Over 500 in three years with 100 personnel added in the next 12 months.
According to Väärsi, in three to four years' time, there will be a major revolution in robotics, and Milrem wants to be prepared for it.
Chair of Milrem Robotics' Supervisory Board Riho Terras was quoted as saying by ERR, that "before the (investment) decision was taken, background checks were conducted, with no reasons found not to accept the EDGE Group's investment".
Founded in 2013, Milrem Robotics develops unmanned ground vehicles and combat robots, and is also developing military concepts for unmanned systems. Milrem Robotics' primary products are the THeMIS and Multiscope unmanned ground vehicles (UGV). The company is also currently developing the Type-X UGV.