Robohub.org
 

Chinese Midea makes $2.5 billion bid for up to 49% of KUKA

by
19 May 2016



share this:
Image source: KUKA Aktiengesellschaft

Image source: KUKA Aktiengesellschaft

In China’s relentless state-stimulated quest to grow their robotics industry, Midea Group, a Chinese appliance manufacturer which already owns 13.5% of KUKA’s shares, has offered to buy up to 49% of the remaining shares at a 59.6% premium.

UPDATED 6/13/ & 6/16: Adjusted to reflect news from Reuters that Midea is only seeking a 49% stake in Kuka instead of a full takeover.

KUKA AG, an Augsburg, Germany-based manufacturer of robots and automated manufacturing systems, is one of the Big Four in worldwide robotics sales along with Yaskawa Electric, FANUC and ABB. KUKA also owns Swisslog, a provider of robotics and automation solutions for hospitals, warehouses and distribution centers. Kuka has had a growing presence in China including a new factory in Shanghai in 2013. Based on the share prices stated in the bid announcement, the offer calculates Kuka’s market value to be $5.2 billion.

Midea Group is a China-based manufacturer of household electronics including air conditioners, refrigerators and washing machines.

“Midea wants to build smart factories that use less labor to produce smart appliances, as China’s working population is dropping and they need to adjust to higher labor costs,” said Juliette Liu, an analyst at Yuanta Securities Co. “The company intends to use Kuka to establish a dominance over industrial robotic manufacturing techniques in China.”

Midea has been on an acquisition spree with a cash fund purported to be over $10 billion. Earlier this year, Midea acquired an 80% interest in Toshiba’s home appliance business for around $475 million and established an e-commerce unit for an undisclosed amount.

Henrik Christensen, KUKA Chair of Robotics at Georgia Tech, said:

China wants to become a major player in robotics and by acquiring KUKA they move from a fast follower to being a leader. It is impossible to buy ABB or FANUC, but KUKA is small enough that it is “easy” to do a take over. I suspect they may have to up the offer a bit, but I see it as a foregone conclusion.

In other recent Chinese acquisition of robotics news, China’s Wanfeng Auto Holding Group bought Paslin, a Michigan manufacturer and integrator of welding robots and tooling, for $302 million.



tags: , , , ,


Frank Tobe is the owner and publisher of The Robot Report, and is also a panel member for Robohub's Robotics by Invitation series.
Frank Tobe is the owner and publisher of The Robot Report, and is also a panel member for Robohub's Robotics by Invitation series.





Related posts :



Robot Talk Episode 89 – Simone Schuerle

In the latest episode of the Robot Talk podcast, Claire chatted to Simone Schuerle from ETH Zürich all about microrobots, medicine and science.
14 June 2024, by

Robot Talk Episode 88 – Lord Ara Darzi

In the latest episode of the Robot Talk podcast, Claire chatted to Lord Ara Darzi from Imperial College London all about robotic surgery - past, present and future.
07 June 2024, by

Robot Talk Episode 87 – Isabelle Ormerod

In the latest episode of the Robot Talk podcast, Claire chatted to Isabelle Ormerod from the University of Bristol all about human-centred design and women in robotics.
31 May 2024, by

Robot Talk Episode 86 – Mario Di Castro

In the latest episode of the Robot Talk podcast, Claire chatted to Mario Di Castro from CERN all about robotic inspection and maintenance in hazardous environments.
24 May 2024, by

Congratulations to the #ICRA2024 best paper winners

The winners and finalists in the different categories have been announced.
20 May 2024, by

Robot Talk Episode 85 – Margarita Chli

In the latest episode of the Robot Talk podcast, Claire chatted to Margarita Chli from the University of Cyprus all about vision, navigation, and small aerial drones.
17 May 2024, by





Robohub is supported by:




Would you like to learn how to tell impactful stories about your robot or AI system?


scicomm
training the next generation of science communicators in robotics & AI


©2024 - Association for the Understanding of Artificial Intelligence


 












©2021 - ROBOTS Association