FRANKFURT Oct 5 State-owned Chinese machinery
group China National Machinery Industry Corporation (Sinomach)
has placed a bid for German rival MAG Group, in a
sign that Chinese appetite for European knowhow remains high,
two people close to the transaction said on Friday.
Japan's Komatsu and two private equity investors
also handed in offers for the European operations of MAG, while
roughly seven bidders have emerged for MAG's American business,
the sources said.
A spokesman for MAG Group said that the company was now in
negotiations with potential buyers. "We expect to finalize the
talks in the fourth quarter", he said.
Goldman Sachs has been mandated to look for a buyer for MAG
Group, which comprises Europe and MAG Americas. The two units
could be sold separately.
The sellers hope for a price tag of more than 500 million
euros ($645 million) for the whole company and at least 250
million for the European operations alone.
MAG Group has annual sales of 1 billion euros. Last year, it
posted earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and
amortization of 105 million euros. The group employs roughly
MAG was built into a global machine tool group by American
investor Eng Mo Meidar, who from 2005 scooped up ailing
subsidiaries of companies like steel conglomerate ThyssenKrupp
and KUKA and restructured them.
In May this year, Eckhard Cordes, a former executive at
Daimler and Metro, took the helm as MAG
chairman to lead the recovery of the maker of machine tools for
the durable-goods industry.
Originally, several bidders from China showed interest,
including the likes of Shenyang Machine Tool (SMTCL)
, which have now dropped out of the race.
Chinese companies have already this year scooped up a number
of German groups to gain access to technology, brands and
worldwide distribution, including Sany's acquisition
of machinery group Putzmeister, Hebei Lingyun
purchase of car parts maker Kiekert and Shandong Heavy's
investment in fork lift truck maker Kion Group.