Chancellor Angela Merkel is reported by Reuters news agency as saying she is looking for a “good solution” in response to the Chinese takeover bid for Kuka, one of the biggest industrial robot manufacturers in the world.
Midea, a Chinese producer of household appliances, recently offered $5 billion to take over Kuka, and the robot-maker’s chairman, Dr Till Reuter, has already said the bid “can support our strategy”.
However, Dr Reuter’s apparently positive vibes has many in Germany seething and looking for a counter-offer which will keep Kuka under German control.
Perhaps acknowledging what Reuters news agency has referred to as a “furious debate” around the proposed takeover, Merkel said she does not see why German players cannot still win the game in the final hours.
“I still think there is an opportunity to come to a good solution,” Merkel said at a joint news conference with the Chinese Premier Li Keqiang during a visit to Beijing, as reported by Reuters.
“And by the way nobody in Germany is forbidden from getting involved with Kuka,” she added. “Now we have to look to see what solutions can be found.”
Nonetheless, the Kuka boss is going ahead with the Midea takeover talks. Dr Till says: “We will now start negotiations with Midea. It will be crucial that we hold a binding contract in our hands at the end which secures the interests of our company, our shareholders, customers and employees in the long run.”