Chinese company Midea made an unsolicited bid Wednesday to gain a controlling stake in Kuka, a German maker of industrial robots.
Midea, a producer of air conditioning and household appliances, offered €115 per share, a 36-percent premium on Tuesday’s closing price. The deal would value Kuka at €4.57 billion, or $5.1 billion.
News of the bid drove Kuka’s share price up more than 30 percent Wednesday morning. It was still trading up more than 20 percent to €104.65 at 5 p.m. local time in Frankfurt.
“We want to help Kuka grow in China,” Andy Gu, Midea’s vice president, told Handelsblatt in an interview. “That is our strategic goal. Kuka has a long history and enjoys high regard in the industry,” he added.
Mr. Gu stressed that the Chinese firm has the cash to close the deal. “We have cash reserves of more than $10 billion,” he said. “The deal with Kuka would not cause us any difficulties.”
Midea made the official offer for Kuka’s shares through its subsidiary Mecca International, saying it hopes to raise its own stake in the German firm to more than 30 percent.