BERLIN (Reuters) - China’s Midea Group Co Ltd 000333.SZ is only seeking a 49 percent stake in German industrial robot maker Kuka (KU2G.DE), Handelsblatt reported on Monday, citing unnamed sources in the German government.
Augsburg-based Kuka is the target of a takeover bid by the Chinese home appliance maker, which has fanned a furious debate over Chinese acquisitions in Europe, with some German politicians calling for tougher restrictions.
“Midea has clearly stated that its intentions are to have a meaningful stake in KUKA above 30 percent,” a company spokesman said. “The ultimate level of our shareholding will depend on the level of KUKA shareholders that tender into the offer.”
Chancellor Angela Merkel said during a visit to Beijing on Monday there was a general openness towards investments from China, but it was expected that the country opened up and offered the same investment conditions.
Instead of being majority-owned by Midea, Kuka would continue to have a strong German anchor shareholder, Handelsblatt reported, adding that Kuka Chief Executive Till Reuter would support such a solution.
Germany’s Economy Ministry declined comment, while Kuka did not immediately respond to requests for comment.
Reporting by Olaf Brenner, Ralf Bode and Alexander Huebner.; Writing by Andreas Cremer; Editing by Alexander Smith