FRANKFURT (Reuters) – German robotics maker Kuka KU2G.DE has signed an investor agreement with Chinese bidder Midea 000333.SZ, which includes a long-term commitment to maintain its headquarters, factories and existing jobs, Kuka said in a statement on Tuesday. As part of the 7-1/2-year agreement, Midea has committed not to undertake any restructuring of Kuka`s business. Read also: Are you leaving the kite? Chinese investments in Germany The prospect of a Chinese buyer`s takeover of Kuka has raised concerns among leaders of Chancellor Angela Merkel`s government. Economy Minister Sigmar Gabriel is launching an indictment for finding another offer from a European candidate, a research that has not yet made an offer. To allay concerns about its approach, Midea said it would not seek to conclude a control agreement or remove the actions. Long before Midea`s investment, Kuka was targeting China. Since 2009, Kuka`s CEO, Reuter was responsible for the opening of its first Chinese factory in 2013. Last year, he said in an interview that Kuka`s Chinese sales had increased tenfold in six years under his supervision to reach 500 million euros. Augsburg, June 28, 2016 – KUKA AG has signed an investor contract with Midea that commits Midea to major insurance by the end of 2023. These safeguards include commitments to maintain sites and jobs, the obligation to maintain KUKA`s existing strategy and the independence of the board of directors, counterparty data protection agreements and the assurance that they do not have a control agreement or decode.
With the investment, Midea becomes the largest shareholder of the German company ahead of Voith GmbH, an industrial facilities manufacturer, if there is an acceptance rate of at least 30 percent of Kuka`s shares. Maybe. Midea stressed, however, that it would abide by its investor agreement with Reuter on jobs. The Board of Directors has appointed former CFO Peter Mohnen as Interim CEO and has made it clear that he will have a real shot to do his job on a permanent basis. This is a constructive negotiation of an investment agreement that overcame opposition from Kuka`s management and supervisory board, some German shareholders and politicians.