Business / Companies

Apple supplier Manz to sell 29.9% stake to Shanghai Electric

(Agencies) Updated: 2016-03-01 11:25

German machine builder Manz AG announced plans to sell at least a 29.9 percent stake to Shanghai Electric Group Co, with the possibility of a full takeover, as the Apple Inc supplier restructures its operations and seeks to raise funds.

Manz will sell new stock priced "as close as possible to the market", up to a maximum 40 euros ($43.7) a share, to allow the Chinese company to take a holding, the Reutlingen-based manufacturer said in a statement on Sunday. Depending on the size of the holding Shanghai Electric obtains, the deal may eventually lead to a mandatory buyout offer under German market regulations.

Manz, which produces equipment for the solar industry as well as machines for manufacturing smartphones and tablets, outlined plans in December to cut 174 jobs, or about 10 percent of the workforce, to save 7 million euros in costs. The company said at the time that the curtailments were necessary due to "order postponements and cancellations".

Chinese investors have been on a buying spree, announcing plans to spend more than $77 billion on foreign companies already in 2016 and putting them on track to break records for a third year in a row, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

Beijing Enterprises Holdings Ltd, the State-controlled conglomerate that sells everything from beer to energy, agreed on Feb 4 to buy EQT Partners AB for 1.4 billion euros. That was the biggest direct Chinese investment in a German company to date. A day later, the Chicago Stock Exchange said a Chinese investor group agreed to acquire it, giving the buyer entry into the intensely competitive US stock market.

Shanghai Electric's offer is 7.1 percent higher than Manz's closing price of 37.35 euros on Friday. The stock has gained 8.9 percent this year, including a 5.8 percent jump on Friday, after Manz said in mid-February that the reorganization was helping earnings and that it had received a good level of new orders.

Dieter and Ulrike Manz, the two largest shareholders, will not participate in the capital increase, and Dieter Manz, who is chief executive officer, will retain that position, the manufacturer said. Shanghai Electric and the CEO may agree to coordinate their votes at the annual shareholders meeting, and he may sell enough stock to the Chinese company to push its stake above 30.1 percent, a threshold that would require it to make an offer for full control of the company, Manz said.

Hot Topics

Editor's Picks