Chinese home appliance maker Midea Group is close to a takeover offer for German industrial robot maker Kuka A.G., one of the largest unsolicited bids for foreign company by a Chinese buyer.
The Wall Street Journal is quoting sources saying Midea could announce its offer as early as Wednesday.
The company is prepared to pay a 30 percent premium to Kuka’s three-month average share price, the surces said .
Such an offer would value Kuka at roughly 4.4 billion euros (US$5 billion), slightly more than 114 euros a share. Kuka’s shares surged on the news, gaining 11 percent in after hours trading in Frankfurt on Tuesday.
Midea Group increased its stake in Kuka in February to 10.2 percent, making it the Ausburg-based company’s second largest shareholder.
One person familiar with the matter said that Midea is considering lifting its stake in Kuka to above 30 percent but doesn’t necessarily seek to gain more than 50 percent or buy Kuka altogether.
Kuka’s operations fit in with China’s growth plan that includes buying foreign companies in sectors like robotics.
Midea first bought a 5.4 percent stake in Kuka in August 2015.
A buyout of Kuka, should Midea opt to do so at a later point, could be complicated given the company’s shareholder structure.
German privately held engineering company Voith Group holds 25 percent in Kuka, with another 10 percent being held by German billionaire Friedhelm Loh via his holding company.
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