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March 02, 2024

LIG Nex1 acquires majority stake in Ghost Robotics

PUBLISHED : December 11, 2023 - 09:31

UPDATED : December 11, 2023 - 09:31

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Quadruped robotic dogs are stationed on the lawn of Yongsan Park, near the presidential office in Seoul, as part of a pilot program in June. (Newsis)

South Korean aerospace and defense firm LIG Nex1 has decided to acquire a 60 percent stake in American quadruped maker Ghost Robotics for some 315 billion won ($240 million) to secure a future growth platform and penetrate the US defense market.

In a regulatory filing on Dec. 8, LIG Nex1 disclosed its plan to purchase the controlling stake in Ghost Robotics.

For the deal, the Korean company will inject 187.7 billion won into LNGR, a specially formed entity provisionally named for this acquisition. The remainder of the funding will be secured through a private equity fund managed by Korea Investment Private Equity.

The deal is expected to close by June 30 next year, although the timeline may change depending on approval from various domestic and international regulators.

Critically, approval is required from the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States.

Philadelphia-based Ghost Robotics specializes in the development of robotic dogs that operate on four legs, specifically for its Vision 60 Q-UGV model engineered for traversing complex terrains and performing high-intensity tasks, such as the transport of heavy-duty weaponry. They are also adept at operating in both connected and isolated environments.

The acquisition follows Hyundai Motor Group’s deal with another American quadruped robotics company, Boston Dynamics, in 2020.

The US military and homeland security currently dominate demand for quadruped robots, utilizing them for tasks ranging from reconnaissance and surveillance to mapping, communication and security.

Ghost Robotics' quadrupeds have not only been deployed by the US military, but have also gained recognition in Korea for guarding the lawn of Yongsan Park near the presidential office in Seoul, as part of a pilot program in June.

By Moon Joon-hyun (mjh@heraldcorp.com)

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