German robot maker divorces US arm

9001fd8dad9c18686a3bd19bd803603cGerman industrial robot maker Kuka has flogged off its Systems US-Aerospace-Business to Advanced Integration Technology to satisfy demands from US watchdogs who were unhappy about its takeover by a Chinese buyer.

Home appliance maker Midea  launched its offer for Kuka in May, the biggest Chinese deal for a German industrial technology company.

Kuka said its takeover by Midea needed the approval of the US Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States and the Directorate of Defense Trade Controls.

“The sale of the Systems US-Aerospace-Business is a crucial prerequisite to obtain these approvals,” it said.

However there is a wave of hostility in the US over Chinese firms coming over there and buying up their companies particularly if these have strategic technologies abroad without allowing reciprocal transactions at home. The US earlier this month blocked a deal for a Chinese buyer to take over German chip equipment maker Aixtron for this reason.

Kuka’s Systems Aerospace business focuses on tooling and the automation of assembly processes such as drilling and riveting for aircraft manufacturing.