Category: Enterprise

Wah Seong Corp acquires German pipeline coating firm mutares AG for US$20.6 million

Malaysia’s energy sector’s infrastructure service provider Wah Seong Corp Bhd has acquired a Germany-based pipe coating firm, mutares Holding 16-AG for €19.5 million (about US$20.6 million).

In a filing with Bursa Malaysia yesterday, Wah Seong said its indirect wholly-owned subsidiary Wasco Coatings Germany GmbH (WC Germany) entered into a share purchase agreement with mutares AG for a 100 percent stake acquisition.

“The acquisition would enable WC Germany to use the existing plant and machinery in Mukran, Germany, to perform its pipe-coating activities for the purposes of the Nord Stream 2 project,” a spokesperson from Wah Seong said.

Nord Stream 2 is a planned pipeline through the Baltic Sea, which will transport natural gas over 1,200km from the world’s largest gas reserves in Russia. It involves two parallel 48-inch lines, each starting from southwest of St Petersburg and ending at Greifswald on the German Coast.

On September 6, 2016, Wah Seong’s indirect wholly-owned subsidiary Wasco Coatings Europe BV entered into a contracts with Nord Stream 2 AG (NS2 AG) for the provision of concrete weight coating and storing of pipes for the Nord Stream 2 project at a contract value of €600 million (about US$636 million)

The €19.5 million purchase price takes into consideration the requirements of the Nord Stream 2 project and will be funded through project financing by NS2 AG. The acquisition is expected to have positive effect on the earnings of Wah Seong for the financial year ending Dec 31, 2017.

Pro-acquisition, this will give WSC unit the access to use mutares’ plant and machinery to provide services for Nord Stream 2 Project and there will not be any effect on the share capital and substantial shareholdings fo Wah Seong as the total purchase consideration is done entirely by cash.

“WC Germany is involved in the pipe-coating services for the oil and gas industry and trading of all associated goods and services while MH-16 is a stock corporation incorporated under the Ferman law and based in Weissenfels, Germany,” a spokesperson from WC Germany said.

By Vivian Foo, Unicorn Media

China Media Capital, SECA to invest tens of millions of Euros in FIA Formula E Championship

Chinese private equity firm China Media Capital (CMC), led by Chinese media mogul Li Ruigang, announced on Tuesday that it has partnered with its portfolio company SECA, a sports marketing company in China to invest tens of millions of Euros into Formula E Holdings, the official promoter of the FIA Formula E Championship auto racing.

Financial details of the transaction were not disclosed but CMC and SECA plan to help introduce and expand Formula E’s influence in China.

Established in 2014, the Formula E Championship is the world’s first electric powered single-seater racing series featuring electric-powered cars manufactured by makers including Renault, Jaguar, and Mahindra racing in major cities around the world.

Its third season, which started in October and runs until July, comprised of races in cities such as Mexico City, Hong Kong, Paris, Berlin, Brussels, New York, and Montreal. According to Formula E, its Hong Kong race in 2016 was watched by 488,000 Chinese viewers via the internet.

“The opening round of each season has been hosted in this region – Beijing and Hong Kong – and we have teams and drivers such as TECHEETAH and Ma Qing Hua already competing in the series. We look forward to working closely with CMC Capital Partners, and continuing to grow the profile of Formula E in key territories across the globe,” Alejandro Agag, the Founder & CEO of Formula E, said.

Formula E has also established partnerships with Chinese TV stations and online video sites including Chinese national television operator CCTV and online video platform iQiyi.com to broadcast races in China.

“Since its inauguration three years ago, Formula E has quickly evolved into a premium global sports IP under a first-class leadership, with remarkable progress in promoting sustainability, innovation, and market penetration of electric vehicles, as well as in media partnership, sponsorship, and tourism,” Li Ruigang said.

“CMC has been focusing on investing in premium global and local sports IPs, and we look forward to working together with Formula E both in China and globally,” he further adds.

The investment in Formula E follows a series of investments made by CMC and its affiliates in sports companies, including SoccerWorld China, Lanxiong Sports, and Beijing Wesai Era Sports Technology Co. This also includes leading an angel round in a sports content startup founded by Chinese football celebrity Sun Jihai in December,

In 2015, CMC and CITIC Capital agreed to invest US$400 million for the acquisition of a 13% of City Football Group, the owner of football related clubs and businesses including Manchester City, New York City, Melbourne City, and a minority shareholder in Japanese football association Yokohama F. Marinos.

Founded in 2009, CMC was the mainland’s first media sector focused fund dedicated to media and entertainment investments in China and around the world. It has separate movie-making ventures with IMAX Corp and Warner Brothers Entertainment, as well as a partnership with Jeffrey Katzenberg’s Dreamworks Animation Skg, which produced Kung Fu Panda 3.

The company signed a deal in October 2015 for the exclusive global broadcast rights over the next five years of Chinese Super League,

Commenting on the fundraising, Agag said, “We are excited to welcome CMC Capital Partners, led by Mr. Ruigang Li, to the increasing list of investors joining Formula E and the electric revolution. China is an important player in the potential of electric vehicle manufacturing and production, and this partnership reinforces our intentions to promote sustainable mobility across Asia and Mainland China.”

By Vivian Foo, Unicorn Media

Chinese consumer appliance maker Midea to buy Israeli motion control firm Servotronix for US$170 million

Chinese consumer appliances maker Midea Group Co., Ltd. has acquired a controlling stake of Israeli automation solutions developer Servotronix Motion Control Ltd. for an enterprise value of US$170 million.

The deal comes shortly after the completion of Midea’s acquisition of German industrial robot manufacturer Kuka Group for over US$5 billion last month, which marks another milestone for Midea to become a robotics and automation high-end industrial manufacturer.

“This strategic alliance represents another milestone of Midea’s expansion in industrial automation and intelligent manufacturing,” said Paul Fang, the chairman and CEO of Midea. “We believe that Servotronix’ technological leadership and innovation in motion control will generate significant synergies with Midea in terms of value chain integration and new market development.”

“By leveraging each other’s complementary capabilities and resources, the two companies will join forces to develop exciting new products and explore growth opportunities going forward,” Fang continues.

Founded in 1987 by Dr. Cohen, Servotronix develops and manufactures automation solutions focusing on motion control solutions, ranging from advanced encoders, servo drivers to multi-axis motion controllers, for a diverse range of industries including robotics, printing, textiles, medical equipment, renewable energy, Computer Numeric Control (CNC) and machine tools, food and beverages, and electronics.

Since its inception, Servitronix’s portfolio list includes the development of the world’s first PC-based 48-axis motion controllers in 1991, a digital servodrive for Baldur in 1992, a magnetic absolute encoder in 2013, and in 2014, an integrated closed-loop servo stopper motor, among some. At present, the company currently employs 200 people and has subsidiaries in China and Germany.

Following this acquisition, Servotronix will also continue to operate from its headquarters in Petah Tikva, Israel, and coordinate its global activity, including marketing, sales, and product development.

At the same time, the two parities established a strategic partnership to expand the development and sales of advanced motion control and automation systems globally and in China. This is the first collaboration of this type for Midea in Israel.

“This alliance will provide Servotronix with significant leverage for our global operations and put Servotronix in a leadership position in the field of robotics, control, and automation, with China being a major market in this field,” said Dr. Ilan Cohen, the president, CEO and founder of Servotronix.

“We are proud that Midea has recognized our success, and we are confident that this strategic alliance will benefit the company, our customers and our employees. Servotronix will continue its operations with even more enthusiasm and strength.” he further adds.

Established in 1968, Shenzhen-listed Midea manufacturers heating, ventilation and air-conditioning systems, robotics and industrial automation systems. The company generated over US$17 billion revenue in the first nine months of 2016 and has identified robotics and automation as an important growth market.

It has more than 200 subsidiaries, employs more than 130,000 people worldwide, and generated revenues of more than $17bn in the first nine months of 2016. It has identified robotics and automation as an important growth market and is stepping up its involvement in this sector. Midea has a company value of $28 billion and is listed on the Shenzen stock exchange, focuses on household goods, air-conditioning, robotics, and automation.

By Vivian Foo, Unicorn Media

Deutsche Wealth and Asset Management buys two logistics facilities from Propertylink for US$56 million

Deutsche Asset Management (Deutsche AM) on Monday has acquired two logistics facilities from PropertyLink, a listed Australian real estate investment trust, in an off-market transaction on behalf of a German institutional client for US$56.07 million.

In Deutsche AM’s mission to increase its sector exposure to logistics in Asia Pacific, the acquisition follows the recent purchase of GLP Narita, a grade A modern logistics warehouse in Tokyo last December.

The two acquired facilities comprised of two single story warehouses including administration offices and parking, which are located at 45 Fulton Drive, Derrimut in Melbourn, and 50-80 Southlink Street, Parkinson in Brisbane respectively. Additionally, the Derrimut site occupies over 34,000 square meters, that is 4,000 square meters larger than the Parkinson site.

“We are pleased to add Rand Transport’s facilities to our portfolio,” said Victoria Sharpe, the Head of Real Estate, Asia Pacific for Deutsche Asset Management.

“With good quality, cold storage accommodation in prime Australian locations in small supply, over the long term we expect the assets to deliver stable cash flows with low volatility in line with the strategy for our investors,” she added.

Originally designed for an anchor tenant, Rand Transport which is a leading service provider of refrigerated interstate transport and warehouse in Australia, the cold logistics facilities designed in 2010, were purpose-built to connect to the local port, airport, and railway stations in both Melbourne and Brisbane via major expressways and road networks.

Having invested in real estate assets for more than 40 years, Deutsche AM is part of the Alternatives platform, which business has more than 410 employees around the world and US$54.4 billion in assets under management as of September 30, 2016.

By Vivian Foo, Unicorn Media

Chinese B2B e-commerce platform Huimin to acquire Sequoia-backed Beequick

Based in Beijing, Huimin, a B2B-ecommerce platform that focuses on small-scale supermarkets has recently acquired a controlling stake in online-to-offline (O2O) platform Beequick.

This comes as an alternative for Beequick as the company is reportedly cutting staff last summer due to the lack of additional funding to keep the cash-burning business going. The firm also gave one of their two office floors in Beijing.

Following the acquisition by Huimin, which has raised RMB1.3 billion (about US$192 million) from domestic RMB funds in November, Beequick will survive as an independent unit under Huimin.

However, the deal also marks an official end to Beequick’s aspiration for an initial public offering (IPO), which appeared plausible in 2015 when it secured a US$750 million Series C financing round backed by Hillhouse, Tiantu, and Sequoia.

Founded in 2014, Beequick is an online-to-offline platform which provides under-an-hour delivery service for fresh produce and other convenient store products like snacks, beverages, liquor, and coffee etc after they purchase it on their mobile app.

Having over 100,000 convenient stores on its platform, it makes use of the large network of local convenient stores in China, reaching out to customers from the nearest convenient stores in town.

After the merger, Huimin and Beequick said there will be various opportunities to pursue cost saving and create synergies. The two companies also plan to consolidate their supply chain resources and enhance cooperation on convenience store operations.

Besides, with this agreement, Beequick can also focus more on their C-side user services, as well as to further enhance the speed and quality of their distribution services along with brand and marketing.

Established in 2013, Huimin currently operates 450,000 neighborhood stores across China. These modern stores offer standardized products and services, as well as computer and phone recharging facilities and umbrella deposit.

Previously, China Innovation Investment (Beijing) Ltd., China United SME Guarantee Corporation and Western Securities had invested RMB1.3 billion (US$192 million) in Huimin, with participation from existing investors Morningside Ventures, Zheshang Venture Capital and GP Capital.

By Vivian Foo, Unicorn Media

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