• EU, Berlin oppose Chinese bid for German robotics maker – report

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    BERLIN: Top officials in Brussels and Berlin oppose a Chinese takeover bid of German industrial robotics supplier Kuka, a newspaper reported on Monday (Tuesday in Manila). “Kuka is a successful company in a strategic sector that is of key importance for the digital future of European industry,” European Digital Economy Commissioner Guenther Oettinger told the Frankfurter Allgmeine Zeitung. Oettinger also questioned whether China would allow a foreign company to take a stake in such a strategic company and said “I’m afraid not”. The German politician added that “since there was no call for help to China, it is reasonable to ask whether a European solution — such as an offer from one of the other two major shareholders, or capital input from other European companies — would not be the better solution”. Chinese appliance giant Midea — best known for its washing machines and air conditioners — last week launched a takeover offer for Kuka. It is seeking at least a 30 percent stake in a deal that values Kuka at 4.6 billion euros ($5.2 billion). Midea already holds a 13.5 percent stake in Kuka.

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