Friday, March 24, 2017

KUKA AERO sold to comply with US objections of sale to Chinese Midea

Posted on 12/21/16 by Frank Tobe

Advanced Integration Technology (AIT) will acquire KUKA Systems Aerospace North America (KUKA Aero), in a carve-out transaction to comply with U.S. regulators who objected to KUKA's sale to Chinese consumer products manufacturer Midea.

Kuka said its takeover by Midea needed the approval of the U.S. Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States and the Directorate of Defense Trade Controls. “The sale of the Systems US-Aerospace-Business (KUKA Aero) is a crucial prerequisite to obtain these approvals,” it said.

No financial terms were disclosed.

The KUKA Aero subsidiary of KUKA is a leading integrator of new robotic technologies used in aerospace assembly and a provider of flexible automation solutions and engineering to the aerospace industry. Some of their clients include Gulfstream Aerospace, Bell, Boeing and other aerospace and defense contractors. U.S. regulators suggested that the sale of this division to Midea might involve the illegal transfer of strategic technologies abroad hence the need to sell it to an American company.

AIT is also an integrator and provider of automation, factory integration and tooling solutions for the global aerospace and defense industries.

"Kuka and their team have helped define the state-of-the-art in aerospace automation and built a wonderful company from a standing start 10 years ago, bringing KUKA’s pioneering automation solutions to the aerospace industry,” said AIT Chairman and CEO Ed Chalupa. “Their expertise in robotic solutions is second-to-none, and we look forward to working with them to build an even stronger automation platform to serve our customers in the commercial and defense aerospace industries.”

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About the author: Frank Tobe

Frank Tobe is the owner and publisher of The Robot Report and co-founder of ROBO Global which has developed a tracking index for the robotics industry, the ROBO Global™ Robotics & Automation Index. The index of 82 companies in 13 subsectors tracks and captures the entire economic value of this global opportunity in robotics, automation and enabling technologies.

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