June 21, 2016 / 6:15 AM / 3 years ago

Kion to buy U.S. firm Dematic in $3.25 billion deal

FRANKFURT (Reuters) - German forklift truck and robotics maker Kion (KGX.DE) has agreed to buy U.S. firm Dematic to expand into the market for automated warehouses and supply chains that have ballooned with the growth of e-commerce.

Excluding certain liabilities, the purchase price will be about $2.1 billion, Kion said on Tuesday.

The takeover offer values Dematic at $3.25 billion and creates a group with close to 30,000 employees and more than 6.7 billion euros ($7.6 billion) in annual sales.

The takeover will allow Kion to combine its industrial forklift trucks systems with Demantic’s fully automated warehouses to become a one-stop supplier for retailers and logistics companies.

Kion sees growth opportunities in China and North America and plans to finance the transaction with a 3 billion-euro bridge loan, which it will refinance with a combination of equity from a capital increase, long-term capital markets debt and bank loans.

Due to the spread of online sales and the expectation of faster delivery times, the market for supply chain automation is expected to grow by 10 percent by 2019, Kion said in a presentation.

Kion’s capital increase is planned before the closing of the deal in the fourth quarter. In addition to proceeds from the share sale, Kion will consider bonds and Schuldscheine, a form of promissory note.

“This depends on the state of capital markets,” said Thomas Toepfer, Kion’s chief financial officer.

Major shareholder Weichai Power (000338.SZ), which owns 38 percent of Kion, fully supports the plan to increase capital by up to 10 percent, Kion said.

Reporting by Maria Sheahan; Editing by Georgina Prodhan

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