The UAE's Edge Group has announced the acquisition of a majority stake in Estonia-based Milrem Robotics, Europe's leading developer of robotics and autonomous systems.
The transaction is the largest foreign investment in Estonia's growing defence industry. Milrem Robotics will join Edge as a new entity within its Platforms and Systems cluster, complementing the group's multi-domain capabilities.
Established in 2013, Milrem Robotics' mission is to provide innovative robotic solutions for challenging environments. It specialises in developing intelligent unmanned ground vehicles, robotic warfare solutions, Concept of Operations (CONOPS) and doctrine-level warfare analysis.
Its main products are the THeMIS and Multiscope unmanned ground vehicles, the Type-X unmanned combat vehicle, and the MIFIK land vehicle autonomy package. The first two are intended to support dismounted soldiers and for commercial purposes such as forestry and firefighting, respectively. The Type-X is a wingman for mechanised defence units.
Faisal Al Bannai, chairman of Edge Group, said Edge's investment in Milrem Robotics, a company with an established reputation as a leader in the fields of robotics and autonomous systems, is also an investment in the future of Edge, which is laser-focused on the development of such capabilities across its multiple domains.
"It will allow us to realise both companies' objectives and ambitions with agility in an increasingly diverse and fiercely competitive marketplace, to share technology and expertise, and to provide Milrem with the necessary support to expand its resources and talent base for further international growth as part of Edge, and to also contribute to the growth of Estonia's sovereign defence industry."
Milrem Robotics will continue to be based in the Estonian capital Tallinn, and also operates offices in Finland, Sweden, the Netherlands, and the USA, employing approximately 200 skilled personnel.
After the transaction, Edge will have majority control of Milrem Robotics. Other shareholders include Krauss Maffei-Wegmann, company founder; Kuldar Vaarsi, company CEO, and Estonian private investors, among them company employees as minority shareholders.
Vaarsi said Milrem Robotics carried out an intensive investment round aimed at finding ways to support further expansion, and Edge Group, which comprises 20 different state-of-the-art technology and defence entities across multiple domains, offered the best opportunity for us to realise our ambitions of further international growth, in terms of footprint, and the development of our industry-leading solutions.
"I am also pleased that we can continue working with our other strategic minority shareholder Krauss-Maffei Wegmann, whose expertise has been instrumental to Milrem Robotics' work since acquiring a stake in 2021. We look forward to a prosperous future together," he said.
Mansour AlMulla, managing director and CEO of Edge Group, said Edge today is one of the world's leading advanced technology and defence groups with a strong foothold across four continents.
"There is great potential here for both companies, and our investment in Milrem will allow it to take advantage of Edge's considerable resources to offer our customers operating in perpetually changing operating environments a more robust portfolio of superior autonomous systems at competitive costs," he said.
"A presence in Estonia also provides Edge with strategic access to Northern Europe, increasing valuable opportunities for us across the continent and further afield, strengthening our position as a serious global player in this sector," he said.
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