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Amazon snaps up automated fulfillment company

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Amazon aims to boost productivity in its fulfillment centres by buying the company behind a range of automated picking systems.

The company, which trades in the UK from both its and websites, is spending $775m (£488.9m) cash to buy Kiva Systems, which makes innovative material handling systems. Its automated systems cover the tasks from receiving an order to picking and shipping it, speeding up the process.

“Amazon has long used automation in its fulfillment centers, and Kiva’s technology is another way to improve productivity by bringing the products directly to employees to pick, pack and stow,” said Dave Clark, vice president, global customer fulfillment, “Kiva shares our passion for invention, and we look forward to supporting their continued growth.”

Mick Mountz, chief executive and founder of Kiva Systems, said: “For the past ten years, the Kiva team has been focused on creating innovative material handling technologies. I’m delighted that Amazon is supporting our growth so that we can provide even more valuable solutions in the coming years.”

The deal, announced yesterday, has already been approved by Kiva’s shareholders and is expected to complete in the second quarter of this year.

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