Thursday Briefing-May 19, 2016: Midea Aims to be a Powerhouse with Kuka

May 19, 2016


China’s Midea Group is not afraid to show its ambition to become a powerhouse in industrial automation by making an offer for the German robot maker Kuka. This ambition alone has put itself and Kuka into Sentifi Top Attentions list as the crowd is buzzing about the prospects of the deal. Read on to find out what else the Sentifi crowd is discussing.


1/ Midea Group: Offers to become German Kuka’s largest shareholder [964% increase in voices in the last 24h]

Robots in the Kuka stand pour a beer into a glass at the Hannover Messe industrial trade fair in Hanover, Germany. (Reuters/Nigel Treblin)

The Chinese electrical appliance manufacturer Midea Group shows its ambition to become a high-end manufacturing powerhouse by offering $5.2 billion for German robot maker Kuka. The deal will give Midea 30% stake in Kuka and turn it into the largest shareholders. Kuka is known for making articulated robots, and it will give Midea a competitive edge in industrial automation.




2/ Suzuki Motor Corp: Denies cheating mileage numbers [713% increase in voices in the last 24h]

Suzuki admitted to using the wrong methods to test the fuel economy of its cars, but denied using the tests to make its fuel economy data look better. The company’s shares slid as much as 15% following the news. This revelation has further complicated the car testing scandal in Japan after its rival Mitsubishi confessed to cheating fuel economy tests.

3/ Burberry: Plans for restructuring after full-year profits fell 10% [603% increase in voices in the last 24h]

A decreasing number of Chinese shoppers and a weakening demand in Hong Kong sent British luxury brand Burberry’s full-year profits down 10%, which prompts an operation overhaul. The company plans to ax a fifth of fashion lines, jobs and £100m of costs. CEO Christopher Bailey is under a lot of fire for failing to provide the company with much needed revival. In fact, he’s one of the highest paid CEO in the FTSE 100, yet the company’s shares have fallen by more than 20% since he took over the reins.

4/ Punjab National Bank: Posts biggest quarterly losses in India’s banking history [524% increase in voices in the last 24h]

A surge in provisions for bad debt dragged the Indian bank into loss territory as it reported a $802 million quarterly net loss. It is the worst loss ever recorded by an Indian bank.

5/ FIH Mobile Ltd: Acquire the smartphone assets under the Nokia trademark from Microsoft [493% increase in voices in the last 24h]

Foxconn made a deal with Microsoft to keep the Nokia brand alive. (BidnessEtc)

The subsidiary of Apple supplier Foxconn, FIH Mobile, partnered with the Finnish private-equity group HMD Global to acquire Microsoft’s feature phone unit for $350 million. Under an exclusive 10-year licensing deal, HMD will create Nokia-branded smartphones and tablets which will be made by Foxconn.




6/ Tencent: Reports record quarterly earnings [441% increase in voices in the last 24h]

The Chinese investment holding company Tencent posted record earnings with operating profits and revenues both growing 43%, while net profit grew 33%. But, its shares fell 1.4% after the company warned of a slowdown in ad revenue that would result in a drop in both revenue and EBITDA for the second quarter.

7/ SSE: Posts profits despite losing customers [436% increase in voices in the last 24h]

The U.K.’s second biggest energy firm posted profits of £1.5 billion despite losing 370,000 customers. Critics pointed out the company was only able to protect its profits because of unfair pricing. The company denied any dirty tricks in its business conduct, and reminded that it cut gas tariffs by around 5% in January.

8/ The Andersons Inc: Rejects a takeover offer from HC2 Holdings [408% increase in voices in the last 24h]

The company’s shares soared 28.8% on the news it rejected an unsolicited takeover offer of $1.04 billion from HC2 Holdings. The investors of Andersons are hoping that HC2 will raise the bid.

9/ Sonova: Shares plunge as earnings miss [371% increase in voices in the last 24h]

Sonova faces a tough road to meet its earnings target.

The Swiss hearing aid maker Sonova posted a 5.8% increase in sales, below the 6%-8% target, and a 1.4% increase in EBITDA, below the 3%-7% target. Slower-than-expected growth in the U.S. was responsible for the target miss, and its shares fell 7% as a result. It also faces competition from Costco’s hearing aids which are priced lower than Sonova’s. In light of the earnings, the company revised its guidance for fiscal year 2016/2017, but it was deemed weak by the analysts.



10/ Kuka: Shares jump after receiving takeover bid [329% increase in voices in the last 24h]

Kuka’s shares jumped as high as 30% after Midea Group made an offer to the company. The offer will face a lot of hurdles to reach completion, such as clearing antitrust issues, meeting regulatory clearances and getting the approval of the shareholders’ general meeting. Once completed, Kuka will help turn Midea into a high-end manufacturing powerhouse thanks to its world-leading articulated robots.

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