China’s Midea completes takeover bid for German robot maker

Robots in the Kuka stand pour a beer into a glass at the Hannover Messe industrial trade fair in Hanover, Germany, on April 23, 2016.[Photo/Agencies]

GUANGZHOU – Chinese home appliance maker Midea Group announced Friday it has secured approval for its bid to take over German robotics firm Kuka and will complete the deal in early January.

A statement from Midea, best known for washing machines and air conditioners, said the bid will promote the robot and automation technology in China and worldwide.

Midea attaches great importance to Kuka’s advantages in products and services, said Fang Hongbo, chairman of Midea, adding that Midea will help Kuka in markets in China and other regions and expand investments.

Midea announced the bid on June 16, offering to pay 115 euros (around $120) per share. It will take 94.55 percent of Kuka after the bid is settled.

In August, Germany’s economy ministry gave the green light to the takeover. It then passed through anti-monopoly investigations from the European Union, and countries including Russia and China.

The last barrier was cleared Friday after the bid received approval from the US Committee on Foreign Investment and Directorate of Defense Trade Controls.

One of the world’s top four robot makers, Kuka, founded in 1898 and based in Augsburg, has a workforce of 12,000 and its 2015 revenue was nearly 3 billion euros.

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