By Kane Wu
China’s home-appliance maker Midea Group announced Wednesday it plans to launch a takeover of Germany’s Kuka AG, in a deal that values the industrial robot maker at more than $5 billion, making it one of the largest unsolicited approaches of a foreign company by a Chinese buyer.
Midea Group /zigman2/quotes/207665926/delayed CN:000333 +2.90% is offering to pay 115 euros a share, a 59.6% premium over Kuka’s unaffected closing price on Feb. 3, 2016, a day before Midea announced an increase in its stake in Kuka /zigman2/quotes/209879451/delayed DE:KU2 +1.33% to 10.2%. Kuka’s stock price closed at €72.05 per share on that day.
Midea Group, which owns shares in Kuka via its offshore affiliate MECCA International (BVI) Ltd., has since further increased it stake to 13.5%.
Midea Group said it intends to increase the shares it owns in Kuka to more than 30%, which requires an offer for all issued shares in the Ausburg, Germany-based company.
In a regulatory market disclosure notice in Germany, where Kuka is listed, Midea said the offer is subject to a minimum acceptance rate of 30% of issued shares of Kuka. This threshold include the stake the Chinese firm already owns.
In the event the takeover is successful, Kuka will remain independent and listed in Germany, Midea said.