January 11, 2016 / 11:26 AM / 2 years ago

UPDATE 1-ChemChina-led group buys German chemical firm for $1 bln

3 Min Read

* Purchase is biggest Chinese investment in Germany

* Buyers include ChemChina, PE firm AGIC

* ChemChina adds KraussMaffei to Pirelli purchase (Adds previous Chinese deals in Germany, AGIC comments)

By Elzio Barreto

HONG KONG, Jan 11 (Reuters) - A group of Chinese investors including China National Chemical Corp (ChemChina) agreed on Monday to buy KraussMaffei Group GmbH for 925 million euros ($1.01 billion), in the biggest-ever Chinese investment into Germany.

The group, which also included Guoxin International Investment Corp and private equity firm AGIC Capital, agreed to buy the plastics processing machinery maker from Canada's Onex Corp, AGIC and Onex said in separate statements, confirming a Reuters report on Jan 7.

The amount surpassed the previous record for Chinese investment in Germany set in 2012 when construction firm Sany Heavy Industry Co Ltd bought concrete pump maker Putzmeister Holding GmbH for $698 million, Thomson Reuters data showed.

The deal also marked the most recent example of Chinese firms looking to improve technology, know-how and branding with overseas acquisitions.

"We see big opportunities in industrial development, particularly in intelligent manufacturing," said Henry Cai, a former China dealmaker at Deutsche Bank and UBS that launched AGIC Capital in 2015.

For ChemChina, the deal comes after a 7.3 billion euro purchase last year of tyre manufacturer Pirelli SpA and talks to buy Swiss agrichemicals group Syngenta AG .

The KraussMaffei transaction is likely to close in the first half of 2016 subject to regulatory approval, Onex said in a statement. The Canadian firm bought KraussMaffei from U.S. investor Madison Capital in 2012 in a 568 million euro deal.

The investment is the first for AGIC, which launched its initial fund in March and raised $500 million by August with a target to raise another $500 million in coming months before a final close, Cai said.

Standard Chartered advised the buyer group and Barclays advised KraussMaffei, said a person familiar with the deal who declined to be identified as advisers have not been publicly disclosed.

ChemChina did not immediately respond to an email seeking comment on the deal. Guoxin could not be reached for comment.

$1 = 0.9159 euros Reporting by Elzio Barreto; Editing by Miral Fahmy and Christopher Cushing

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