China’s Midea Group Plans to buy 49 Percent Stake in German Robotic Company Kuka
China’s Midea Group Co Ltd wants to buy a 49 percent stake in German industrial robot maker Kuka, sources familiar with the matter revealed on Tuesday.
Midea Group will reportedly resell any shares it acquires beyond the threshold of 49 percent, which would allow Kuka to retain a strong German anchor investor.
Midea group is planning to offer 115 euros ($128.97) per Kuka share. The German stock market did not react enthusiastically to Kuka’s stake sale as the company’s shares were down 2.8 percent to 102.90 euros during the morning trading session on Tuesday. It was among the biggest losers among the mid-cap index.
German engineering group ‘Voith’ owns a 25 percent stake and billionaire Friedhelm Loh owns a 10 percent stake in the company. Both parties declined to comment on the deal.
Several German politicians have come forward in protest of the deal, claiming that Kuka’s technology is essential for Germany’s economic success and must therefore be protected from falling into China’s hands.
Germany’s Economy Minister Sigmar Gabriel announced earlier this month that the government is searching for a European company to bid for Kuka’s share. However, no European company has so far shown any interest.
The news of this deal comes while German Chancellor Angela Merkel is China on a three-day visit. Merkel on Monday had urged Beijing to reduce restrictions on foreign companies operating in China, adding that Chinese firms are enjoying a much more open environment in Germany.
| Jun 15, 2016 04:42 AM EDT