Weichai and Kion completed transactions involving 738 million euros


Shandong Heavy Industry Weichai Power Co., Ltd. (hereinafter referred to as "Weichai Power"), the world's leading industrial forklift manufacturer and global leader of hydraulic technology, the German KION Group (hereinafter referred to as "KION"), in Germany local time At 16:18 on the 27th, the transaction was successfully completed in Wiesbaden. This marks that, following the signing of the strategic cooperation agreement between the two sides in September this year, the largest direct investment in Chinese enterprises in Germany has finally settled. The success of this strategic reorganization will strengthen both parties' industrial base in the European market and create opportunities for the expansion of the Asia-Pacific market, creating a common platform for the future development of both parties.


The strategic cooperation, Weichai Power's total investment of 738 million euros, of which 467 million euros will acquire a 25% stake in KION through a capital increase, in addition, 271 million euros from Linde Material Handling Co., Ltd. to acquire its hydraulic business 70% of the majority stake. Most of the funds for this transaction will be used to repay the KION Group's senior debt, in order to further optimize KION's capital structure. In addition to the transaction cash, Kio's outstanding shareholder loan, which was originally due in 2021, was transferred to shareholders' equity at the completion of the transaction.

At this point, Weichai Power became the new major investor of KION following KKR and Goldman Sachs. At the same time, Weichai Power holds a majority of 70% of Linde Hydraulics (hereinafter referred to as “Linde Hydraulics”), and the new company is mainly composed of the hydraulic business separated from Linde Material Handling GmbH. The remaining 30% of the shares continue to be held by Linde Material Handling Co., Ltd. Under the existing call option, Weichai Power shall have the right to increase the shares of Keno to 30% of all the diluted shares before Kio’s initial public offering (IPO). In addition, the two parties reached a consensus that Weichai will have the right to purchase shares from Kion existing shareholders within three months after June 30, 2013 or within three months after the completion of the IPO, and further increase the shareholding of KION in 3.3%. If Weichai owns 33.3% of KION shares, the parties will cooperate to ensure that Weichai has the right to appoint the chairman of the board of supervisors.

Following the successful reorganization of the Italian Ferretti Yacht Company this year, Weichai Power has successfully taken an important step in its strategic globalization. Through this transaction, Weichai Power has entered the world's leading forklift and high-end hydraulic field, which will help its product structure adjustment and industrial upgrading. At the same time, since the hydraulic control system is the most prominent “bottleneck” restricting the development of China's equipment manufacturing industry, Weichai Power will master the high-end hydraulic technology and will help break the global monopoly of hydraulic manufacturing that has long been dominated by foreign companies and change China’s high-end hydraulic products. The long-term dependence on the status quo of imports will boost the upgrading of China's construction machinery industry and achieve high-end expansion into the value chain.

The reorganized KION will leverage on Weichai Power's strong local strength and abundant network resources to quickly enter the high-growth Asian market. At the same time, it will also benefit from Weichai Power's extensive supplier system in China and Europe. .

After the spin-off, the hydraulic business will be operated and managed by an independent new company named Linde Hydraulics. More than 1,400 employees will all agree to transfer to the new company, and the products will continue to use the Linde trademark. Through the cooperation with Weichai Power, Linde Hydraulics will continue to expand its scale and better respond to the ever-changing market environment and increasingly fierce competition. With the complementary product and technology with Weichai, Linde Hydraulics will be able to take full advantage of the undeveloped market potential and enter new markets, especially in high-growth Asian markets. At the same time, Weichai Power signed a long-term strategic cooperation agreement with Eaton Corporation of the United States, further clarifying the cooperation between the two sides in the global hydraulic business, and providing room for future development.


Tan Xuguang, chairman of Shandong Heavy Industry Group and chairman and chief executive officer of Weichai Power, said: Our team has invested a great deal of work in a relatively short period of time and successfully completed this transaction, which has brought about our strategic cooperation. An encouraging start. Now we will implement a common development strategy in the hydraulic field. Linde Hydraulics new plant in Aschaffenburg will be completed and put into operation in 2015. In addition, Linde Hydraulics has teamed up with Weichai Power to study how Linde hydraulic technology is widely used in Weichai products. We have the right to increase our stake in KION to 33.3%, which fully demonstrates our commitment to achieve common development and long-term cooperation between KION and Weichai.

Chief Executive Officer of KION Gordon Riske said: Establishing a long-term strategic partnership with Weichai will be a milestone in our strategy to continuously expand the forklift business in Asia and China. In addition, the further optimization of the capital structure provides a better foundation and opportunity for our development strategy. Our team successfully completed more than 3,000 project tasks in less than four months, which fully reflects the strong execution ability and collaborative spirit of the two teams.

Johannes Huth, director and head of KKR Europe, and Alexander Dibelius, chief executive of Goldman Sachs Group Germany, Austria and Central and Eastern Europe, emphasized on this strategic reorganization: We are very much looking forward to this opportunity for cooperation to bring further development to KION. Pride goes further in its brilliant development. The establishment of this strategic partnership is part of our strategy to further expand KION’s global business and expand markets beyond Europe.

The long-term strategic cooperation between Weichai Power and KION will also be reflected in the corporate governance of KION and Linde Hydraulics. After the reorganization, Jiang Kui, the general manager of Shandong Heavy Industry Group and Weichai Power, will join the Kean Supervisory Board. The newly established Linde Hydraulic Supervisory Committee is composed of three persons appointed by Weichai Power and one person appointed by Linde Material Handling Co., Ltd., of which Jiang Kui is the chairman of the Supervisory Committee. In addition, Jörg Ulrich and others have been appointed to the Linde Hydraulic Management Committee.



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