Business Essentials for Professionals


25 Percent Stake in Kuka to be Sold to Chinese Bidder Midea by Investor Voith

25 Percent Stake in Kuka to be Sold to Chinese Bidder Midea by Investor Voith
The 25.1 percent stake it holds in the robot making company Kuka would be sold to the Chinese bidder Midea for about 1.2 billion euros ($1.34 billion) by the German mechanical engineering group Voith which recently made the announcement.
This sale of the Voith share in Kuka would help smooth the path for Midea in its bid to completely takeover control of Kuka. This bid to take over Kuka is being seen by analysts as part of the strategy of the Chinese companies to build up control over modern technology which has seen many takeovers and bids for takeovers in recent months.
On the other hand this bid had initially upset German politicians who feared a loss of important technology. This had resulted in complexities in the deal which was managed by both the companies through an agreement to keep the company’s existing headquarters, factories and jobs which helped pacify the concerns and fears of the German politicians.
The offer for Kuka by Midea has made it the biggest German industrial technology company to be targeted by a Chinese buyer in a wave of deals over recent months. The Chinese company has offered 4.5 billion euros for the complete buyout of Kuka.
Since the value of the stake of Voith had more than doubled since the company had acquired Kuka around 18 months ago in December 2014, Vouth viewed that its investment in the company had been a success, the company said.

"I am convinced that Voith is one of the winners of this takeover offer," Voith CEO Hubert Lienhard said.
Voith has a strategy of investing in companies dealing with digital technologies, such as automatization, IT security, sensors and robotics and the company would use the funds it would get fro the sale of its share in Kuka to fund such investments, the company said.
With the declared aim of gaining control and buying at least 30 percent of Kuka, the Chinese company Midea has said that it has made an offer of 115 euros a share to te German company. Midea already owns a 13.5 percent stake in Kuka.
In order to ensure that Midea did not get more than a 49 percent stake in Kuka, the company was in confidential talks with potential new investors for funding and sale, the company Chief Executive Till Reuter had said last week.
While announcing the sale of its 25.1 percent stake in Kuka, Voith said that it made strategic sense to sell given the current situation even though the company had wanted to use the stake in Kuka as part of its plans to expand its digital operations.
Here were media reports last month about a meeting between Voith and Midea's chief executives after which the former had reportedly announced its plans to tender its stake. It was also reported that at the meeting Midea boss Paul Fang had indicated the Chinese company would not be in favor of Voith remaining a 25 percent shareholder.

Christopher J. Mitchell

Markets | Companies | M&A | Innovation | People | Management | Lifestyle | World | Misc