Monday, May 30, 2016

Kuka: major shareholder brakes Board in Midea deal – SPIEGEL ONLINE

Leading politicians advocate according to a newspaper report against the takeover of the robot producer Kuka by the Chinese Midea Group.

If possible Kuka must remain a European company, it is in the environment of Economy Minister Sigmar Gabriel. The reported the “Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung” ( “FAZ”). EU Digital Commissioner Günther Oettinger urge other major shareholders to examine an alternative offer or a bid from other European companies for Kuka. Gabriel’s spokesman declined to the newspaper not comment on the takeover plans.

The biggest Kuka shareholder who Swabian Voith Group has meanwhile slowed the Kuka Board. “How can he now make already positive remarks, I do not understand,” said Voith CEO Hubert Lienhard, who belonged to the board of the robot manufacturer from Augsburg. “It was surprising to us, it is amazing to me is how replied to this offer.” It had to be examined with an open, demanded Lienhard.

Kuka CEO Till Reuters had declared at the AGM last Friday, the offer Mideas support the strategy of the robot producer. A Kuka spokeswoman said on Monday, the offer would be examined open-ended. “Basically, a partner to support our growth, for example in China or in the industrial sector 4.0, could be an opportunity for Kuka.”

Clearance German key technology?

Small shareholders had warned at the meeting in front of a sell-German key technology when the important for the automobile industry robot producer would mainly in Chinese hands. Commissioner Oettinger sees this similarly. “Kuka is a successful company in a strategic sector with important significance for the digital future of European industry,” he said of the “FAZ”.

The Swabian industrial group Voith is 25.1 percent at Kuka  chart show involved. The HVAC producer Midea already holds 13.5 percent and had announced an increase in February. In mid-May offered Midea to a voucher of 115 euros per share and declared to strive for more than 30 percent.

The non-listed family company Voith put variable if he sticks to his shareholding or shares only acquired half years ago sold. “We will think about very carefully,” Lienhard. Said

concerns about the dominance of the Chinese, which are expressed in the context of the federal government, he does not share. “I think that we are doing in general in Germany well because we have an open market,” Lienhard, who is also chairman of the Asia-Pacific Committee of German Business said. Midea should equally proposed with German companies an offer. However, should the German economy in China, where some sectors are foreclosed, also insist on equality.


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