Midea Considers China Relisting for German Robotics Firm Kuka
(Bloomberg) -- Appliance maker Midea Group Co. is exploring a potential relisting of German robotics firm Kuka AG on an Asian stock exchange, people with knowledge of the matter said.
Midea, based in the southern Chinese city of Foshan, has been speaking with potential advisers about a plan to eventually relist Kuka, according to the people. Shanghai’s Nasdaq-like Star board is among the exchanges under consideration, the people said.
Shares of thinly-traded Kuka have more doubled in Frankfurt this year, giving the company a market value of about 3 billion euros ($3.4 billion). Midea already owns more than 95% of Kuka following a 2016 takeover bid. The Chinese group said Tuesday it plans to squeeze out the remaining minority shareholders and delist the company from the German bourse.
Relisting Kuka would help Midea tap demand from Chinese investors and take advantage of potentially higher valuations in the domestic stock market. A slew of Chinese-owned companies have sought to sell shares closer to home as political tensions and regulatory hurdles make overseas listings more difficult.
Midea could float Kuka again in the next year or two, though it hasn’t set a firm timetable, one of the people said. It may wait until Kuka has grown its Chinese operations further before proceeding with the share sale, another person said.
Hong Kong is another possible listing venue for the business, the people said. Deliberations are ongoing, and there’s no certainty they will lead to a transaction, the people said.
A representative for Midea referred to the company’s official announcements, declining to comment further. A spokesperson for Kuka declined to comment.
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