The number of Chinese acquisitions in Germany has reached a new peak in both the number of purchased companies, as well as from the financial volume. Accordingly, investors from China and Hong Kong from January to the end of October, acquisitions of a total of 58 German companies – 19 more than in the full year 2015, the consulting firm EY (Ernst & Young). A the total is full, however, the Chinese investors this year for Corporate acquisitions in Germany have already spent: EUR 11.6 billion, a good 20 Times as much as 2015 and more than in all previous years together.
Three Deals alone beat, according to the EY-study, with together more than seven billion euros: the Acquisition of Augsburg-based industrial robot manufacturer Kuka (4.6 billion), the Munich-based machine manufacturer KraussMaffei (1.0 billion) and EEW (1.6 billion), a manufacturer of waste incineration plants in Göppingen, Germany.
“The Acquisitions by Chinese investors has increased steadily in recent years,” says Kai Lucks, professional for corporate takeovers and the Chairman of the Federal Association of Mergers & Acquisitions. “However, in China, there are only a few Acquisitions by German companies. The Situation is asymmetric." Also, German large interest in Chinese companies, would have the former Siemens Manager says. “Through a Takeover to win a sales platform, Management and employees.” Often there is “difficult to explain Ad-hoc prohibitions or against the wind, German companies are hampered in Acquisitions in China,” says Lucks. “The policy should pay attention to symmetry.”
Because foreign investors are facing in China, with very high hurdles. In the 2015 revised policies of the Chinese government 38 business fields in which foreign takeovers in principle, are prohibited. In addition, there are many other areas in which foreign companies are forced to accept a Chinese Partner in joint ventures.
German firms must disclose in China technology
In Germany not dominated by Economists and business specialists in the ministries so far, the pure doctrine, that an open market has advantages – even if a trading partner offers the appropriate open access to the market. Meanwhile, doubts as to whether this is in the case of China, to be really useful. Because the power track commander-in-chief in Beijing, with the stated goal to by 2050 in all the key industries, the technological world market leader – the Acquisition of High-Tech companies, serves this purpose. In addition, German companies that want to sell in China their products will be forced routinely to the disclosure of their technology. And, as before, mainly medium-sized German companies in China, the experience that your products can be immediately copied, without the authorities to intervene.
That the Chinese dream of the technology the nation is behind many acquisitions, is obvious: Kuka is a leading manufacturer of robots for industrial production. The buyer Midea is a Low-Tech-manufacturer of air-conditioning systems and household appliances, with no experience in automation. Overlaps in the product portfolio.
“let’s not protectionism, but fair conditions of competition”, – stated in the Federal Ministry of economic Affairs. Minister Sigmar Gabriel (SPD) wants to explore at a European level, “how to enable fair competition and the Trend to increased Acquisitions”, especially through subsidized and/or state-owned companies – “on a European level can meet”, a Ministry spokesman explained. Gabriel also wants to change on the national level, the foreign trade law. Bavaria’s Economics Minister Ilse Aigner (CSU) requires that the Federal government extends its Veto. The purchase of a special machine manufacturer, Aixtron by a Chinese company was busted after the difference had forbidden US President Barack Obama to the acquisition of the US business, with reference to threats to U.S. security. Investors from China finished also negotiating the purchase of the semi-conductor supplier Siltronic.
Strikingly high purchase prices to be paid
“It is remarkable that the Chinese are often very high purchase price,” says professional Lucks. “In many cases, a strategic interest of the Chinese state is behind this. I would watch every single case of a Takeover." So far, he does not see the danger, “that there are basic things moving”.
And for the acquired companies become the majority owners are in no way a harm: “The Chinese have become in recent years very reasonable investors,” says Lucks. “You have supported acquired German companies in the last years of production built, not dismantled.” In the context of internationalisation, it could make for German companies a lot of sense to have a Chinese Investor. Lucks with this assessment alone, similar to active business people are saying in the China Business. a (dpa)