A subsidiary of MTD Products Inc. is set to merge with a leading maker of environmentally friendly, robotic residential lawn mowers sold mainly in Europe, enabling opportunities to employ this progressive technology under MTD’s brands in Europe and North America.
MTD’s subsidiary has entered into a merger agreement — with F. Robotics Acquisitions Ltd, makers of the Robomow — which is expected to close around July 2, 2017, pending governmental and other approvals. The transaction will combine Robomow’s industry-leading technology and award-winning robotic lawn mowers with MTD’s broader outdoor power equipment portfolio and extensive global network of dealers.
“Both MTD and Robomow see tremendous opportunities to grow our brands through this merger of our products and talents,” said Rob Moll, CEO, MTD Products. “Initially, we will be looking to market Robomow technology under our Cub Cadet and WOLF-Garten brands. At the same time, we expect the Robomow brand to profit from MTD’s global reach and presence.”
Moll said that ultimately MTD would be exploring ways to foster demand for robotic technology for residential lawns in North America. The technology has already taken hold in Europe, and the market is growing globally at a rate of 15 percent or more annually.
Following the merger, Robomow’s operations will remain headquartered in Pardesiya, Israel, and its present management team will continue to lead the company toward rapid growth and innovation with support from MTD’s European, North American and Asia-Pacific divisions.
“For the last 22 years, we have been focused on developing innovative technologies and leading robotic mowing products,” said Udi Peless, CEO, Friendly Robotics. “We are excited to see this investment reach its full potential in the market via MTD’s leading brands and distribution.”
Both companies have industry-wide reputations for innovation in the fast-moving lawnmower and outdoor power equipment markets.
Founded in Israel, Robomow has launched six generations of rechargeable, robotic lawn mowers for residential use since 1995, with models for different mower widths and lawn sizes. Robomow is quiet enough to run at night, runs automatically on a pre-set schedule, docks itself for recharging, and can be managed through a smartphone app.
Headquartered in Valley City, Ohio, MTD already markets the Cub Cadet RG3, a robotic mower for golf greens. The company also created the industry’s first steering-wheel-controlled, zero-turn-riding mower, marketed under both the Cub Cadet and Troy-Bilt brands.
In 2015, MTD acquired two companies that strengthened its technological advantage — CORE Outdoor Power (CORE), with motor technology that provides greater torque and efficiency than traditional electric motors in cordless battery applications; and Precise Path Robotics, which brought RG3 to golf course putting greens.