Manufacturing News

Chinese fund buys Italian robotics-maker Gimatic

European-Asian equity fund Agic Capital has agreed to buy Gimatic, an Italian supplier of robotic end-of-arm tools valued at 100 to 150 million euros ($112-169 million), the Financial Times reports.

Agic Capital, which focuses on European industrial technical investment, was founded last year by Henry Cai, a former Deutsche Bank senior executive.

Gimatic, founded in 1985, is an Italian supplier of robotic end-of-arm tools. The company has seen its annual sales grow by more than 20 percent over the past three years, with four fifths of its business coming from Europe. Asia, although accounting for less than a tenth of sales, is seen as the market with the biggest potential.

In January, Agic Capital, together with China National Chemical Corp and Chinese state fund Guoxin International Investment Corp, purchased Germany's KraussMaffei Group for 925 million euros.

KraussMaffei, an equipment manufacturer that processes plastics and rubber, is one of Germany's largest machinery suppliers. The deal, at the time, ranked as the biggest outbound investment from China into Germany, according to data provider Dealogic.

China is speeding up investment in industrial robots.

Last month, China's biggest maker of home appliances Midea Group made an offer to buy German factory robot manufacturer Kuka AG. The 115 euro-per-share offer valued Kuka at around 4.5 billion euros and Midea said it was seeking to become the largest shareholder by raising its stake beyond 30 percent.

Jin Xing, a home appliance analyst at CITIC Securities, said in a report the robotics industry was hot in China, with rapid growth and huge development room.

According to the Frankfurt-based International Federation of Robotics (IFR), annual robot sales, between 2005 and 2015, rose 9 percent worldwide, while China experienced a growth of 25 percent.

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