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EU commissioner opposes US takeover of German KUKA Robotics
According to foreign media reports, the United States reported on May 30 local time that the European Commissioner for the Digital Economy, Guenther Oettinger, said that in order to prevent the loss of key technologies, German industrial robot manufacturer Kuka AG had better put More of its own equity remains in the hands of European investors. On May 18, Midea Group officially announced that it had issued a takeover offer to KUKA, a German industrial robot manufacturer, to acquire KUKA at 115 euros per share, planning to increase its stake to more than 30%. As one of the four major families of industrial robots in the world, Oettinger believes that KUKA is of great significance to the digital future of European industry. 'KUKA does not need help from Chinese capital urgently. It may be a better solution for the company VoithGroup or other European companies to purchase these shares.” For this tender offer, Midea Group is expected to pay a maximum cash consideration of no more than 4 billion euros (equivalent to about 29.2 billion yuan). It is also one of the largest overseas active acquisitions in China in recent years. Midea first purchased a 5.4% stake in KUKA in August 2015, and currently holds about 13.5% of KUKA, making it the second largest shareholder of KUKA. If the acquisition is completed, Midea will become the single largest shareholder of KUKA. Midea's chairman Fang Hongbo once revealed that after the acquisition, 'KUKA will remain an independent company, and Midea has no intention of acquiring absolute control or delisting the company. As a customer and investor, we have been retained by KUKA's management and employees. We are very impressed. We believe that more equity will give us a balanced voice in an independent KUKA and also allow the two companies to work better together to drive deeper growth, especially in China.” According to the financial report, KUKA's revenue in 2015 was 3 billion euros (about 3.4 billion US dollars), more than half of which came from the US and Chinese markets. So for KUKA, a closer link with Midea will help boost the company's revenue in the Chinese market, one of the cornerstones of its growth strategy. KUKA Chief Executive Till Reuter said on May 28 that he very much welcomes the proposed takeover offer from Chinese home appliance maker Midea Group. It is reported that before Midea acquired KUKA, KUKA had sought investment in the Chinese market many times, but the development of the industrial robot market was not yet hot at that time, and the two sides did not reach an agreement due to price issues. “We have set ourselves a target of 1 billion euros in sales by 2020. If a partner can support this strategy and provide us with better market access, it will be important for KUKA,” Lauit said. Growth engine.' China is the world's largest industrial robot market, with robot market sales in China increasing by 16% year-on-year in 2015, thereby driving global robot sales up 8% year-on-year. According to a Reuters report on the 28th, a source revealed that the German government will review the importance of Kuka’s technology to the digitalization of the country’s industry. At the same time, Chinese investment in Germany will be closely monitored, and acquisitions will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis to ensure that key technologies are not lost. For the current Germany, industrial digitalization is the main engine of economic growth, and German Chancellor Angela Dorothea Merkel is reluctant to intervene in the acquisition of KUKA. The German government has also stated that it will not prevent the transfer of Kuka's ownership and technology to the hands of Chinese companies. Founded in southern Germany in 1898, KUKA is one of the world's leading companies focusing on the digitization of industrial manufacturing processes (also known as the 'fourth industrial revolution'). KUKA officially entered the Chinese market in 1986, and established its first wholly-owned subsidiary in China in 2000 in Shanghai. The automation equipment of the KUKA system is used in the production lines of Volkswagen, BMW, General Motors, Chrysler, Ford and Mercedes-Benz, as well as in other fields of Airbus and BSH household appliances.