German robotics maker Kuka (ETR: KU2G.DE) has signed an investment agreement with Chinese bidder Midea Group (SHE: 000333.SZ). The deal stipulates a long-term commitment to keep its existing headquarters, factories and jobs in Germany for 7.5 years. Midea is China’s largest manufacturer of home appliances.
The deal requires the company to not embark on any corporate reorganization of Kuka. Kuka shareholders tendered 72.2% of shares to Midea, plus the original of 13.5% shares, making Midea the largest shareholder of Kuka with 85.7% shares.
Midea made a €4.5 billion euro ($4.97 billion) bid for Kuka in May, then it acquired another 25.1% stake from German Technology company Voith with €1.2 billion euros ($1.34 billion), and 10% stake of Friedhelm Loh.
The recent acquisition enables Midea an opportunity for global expansion, cut manufacturing costs and gain access to valuable technology that is critical for its next stage of development. Kuka already supplies key components to auto giants Volkswagen, BMW and Tesla.
According to the Robotic and Automation News, 70% of the global robot sales went to five countries:
China, Japan, US, Korea, and Germany.
Between 2010 and 2014, the total supply of industrial robots increased by about 40% per year on average in China. Robot sales in Japan increased 8% annually. Similarly, US sales of robots increased by 11%, and has made an effort to bring back manufacturing in US. Sales in Germany increased 9% per year, despite an already existing high robot density in the country.
There are 9 Big Robotic Companies in the global market. The data was released in July 2015. Kuka ranked sixth.
Top robot companies in the world with largest robot install base worldwide:
1. Fanuc – 400,000
2. Yaskawa – 300,000
3. ABB – 250,000
4. Kawasaki – 110,000
5. Nachi – 100,000
6. Kuka – 80,000
7. Denso – 80,000
8. Epson – 55,000
9. Adept – 25,000