Parrot exits automotive industry to focus on commercial UAVs

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Drone hardware manufacture Parrot is making an early exit from the automotive industry in a bid to focus more intently on its commercial UAV division.

Following the partnership agreement between the European drone group and Faurecia, which was signed in the first quarter of 2017, the companies have decided together to arrange Parrot’s exit from the subsidiary Parrot Automotive, which has been 20% owned by Faurecia since March 31, 2017.

Under the partnership agreement, based on an enterprise value of €100m (£88m) for Parrot Automotive, Faurecia subscribed for €41m (£36m) of bonds issued by Parrot SA, which were scheduled to be converted from January 1, 2019 enabling Faurecia to own 50.01% of the company.

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Henri Seydoux, Parrot’s chairman, CEO and leading shareholder, said: “We have just launched Anafi, a powerful lightweight drone, and we would like to focus fully on developing our consumer and commercial drone operations, while giving Faurecia all the latitude needed to deploy its strategy for connected cars and mobility.

“With this agreement, we will double our cash position, and will continue moving forward with confidence with our strategy, which aims more than ever to continue developing Europe’s leading drone group.”

The parties also previously agreed on the potential to organise the transfer of the remaining interest in Parrot Automotive to Faurecia in 2022.

For the sale of 49.9% of Parrot Automotive’s shares, the price received by Parrot would represent €67.5m (£59m). This would take the overall proceeds received by Parrot up to €108m (£95m).

Parrot Faurecia Automotive would continue to benefit from the “Parrot” brand license until the end of the agreed timeframe, in return for royalties based on Parrot Automotive’s revenues.

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Emma Calder

The author Emma Calder

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