With $10 Billion Funds, Midea Goes Shopping for M&A Targets

  • Deals aimed to help improve technology, brand, says executive
  • Toshiba was said to be in final deal talks with Midea: Nikkei

Midea Group Co., China’s biggest maker of home appliances, is looking for acquisition targets as part of its global expansion plan, according to Vice President Yuan Liqun.

The company, based in southern Chinese city of Foshan, is seeking deals that can help it improve its technology, brand and global distribution channels so it can become more competitive, Yuan said in an interview on March 13. The manufacturer has about 70 billion yuan ($10.8 billion) in cash and notes receivable, she said.

Midea joined competitors including China’s Haier Group seeking technology by making overseas acquisitions. Midea had a 17.1 percent market share in 2015, followed by Qingdao Haier with 7.9 percent, Euromonitor International data show.

Nikkei newspaper reported Tuesday that Toshiba Corp. is in final talks to sell its appliance unit to the Midea Group in a deal that’s possibly worth tens of billions of yen. In an e-mailed statement, Midea said it has been the company’s plan to seek global expansion opportunities, without discussing Toshiba.

Midea shares fell as much as 1.9 percent in Shenzhen trading Tuesday, extending the decline so far this year to 9.7 percent.

China’s biggest maker of air conditioners and rice cookers recently doubled its holding in Germany robotmaker Kuka AG and it was said to have competed for General Electric Co.’s home appliances business, which was eventually bought by Haier.

Midea sells products in the Americas, Mexico and Brazil, according to its website. It spent about $5 billion in the last decade on mostly acquisition of domestic companies, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

— With assistance by Tian Chen, Ran Li, and Daniela Wei

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