Category: Mergers & Acquisitions

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

SportsPlay acquires Jogo to bring Malaysian sport fans a better platform

SportsPlay, a sport-matching app that helps discover sports partners in a wide range of sports has recently announced the acquisition of Jogo to bring forth a singular sporting app to provide a better platform experience than before.

With their services ranged around similar premises, Jogo is considered a competitor as well as a suitable partner to SportsPlay in support of providing local sports fans with a smoother platform to enhance their playing experience.

Details of the transaction were not disclosed but assets acquired by SportsPlay includes Jogo’s smart booking system, league management system, sports facilities management system and its current users base.

Pro-acquisition, these Jogo-related assets and businesses will also be rebranded and merged into SportsPlay as one business entity and SportsPlay will also reach an undisclosed 7-figure valuation.

“We are delighted with this merger as it will boost up our business scaling and acquisition of great experienced talents into the company management,” said SportsPlay’s CEO Jin Tan. “Grassroot sports development is an important part of why we do what we do, and this deal will supercharge our efforts to build a stronger, more robust community of sports enthusiasts and sports industry. It’sti a win-win deal.”

Both startups were founded around the same time back in June 2016 and share the same mission of providing a solid solution for current sports businesses which still faces a lot of offline challenges.

SportsPlay is a mobile app that connects users interested in a variety of sports, working through matching users with other individuals who are on the lookout for players to join in on a match in addition to the function of finding sports venues within nearby vicinity.

The app currently has over 10,000 users signed up with more than 30 facilities partners on board nationwide and received initial funding from TinkBig Venture. In addtion to individual users, SportsPlay also aids sports facilities in addressing off-peak hours where court utilization can prove to be a challenge.

On the other hand, Jogo allowed users to book sports courts through its mobile app and gave court operators the opportunity to manage their sports venue through an easy-to-use dashboard. The platform was involved in several local leagues in Klang Valley and helped to manage them through their league management system.

“Both companies wanted to solve problems in sports but our solutions came from different directions and different angles. We noticed that we needed some extra solutions to grow stronger, bigger and faster. So SportsPlay decided to acquire Jogo to put everything under one roof and come out as a more solid solution,” said Jin.

Since Jogo will be rebranded as SportsPlay, their existing users will be directed to that app instantly. Those already using SportsPlay will see no drastic change but the platform will have more features alongside more new members.

Speaking on the merger, Vimal Kumar, the Co-founder and COO of Jogo said, “Jogo has technological expertise in high end management system, providing online solutions for sports leagues and competitions in the Klang Valley, while SportsPlay boasts an extensive user base and exposure to other sports. Pairing the two will allow both parties realise incredible synergies for the benefit of sports lovers all across Malaysia.”

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

Standard Chartered Private Equity acquires Chinese beauty center operator Siyanli

Standard Chartered Private Equity (SCPE), Standard Charted Bank’s private equity arm, has led a consortium to acquire a majority stake in Chinese beauty care service provider Shanghai Siyanli Industrial Co., Ltd. in a leveraged buy-out transaction.

Following the deal which values Siyanli at US$224 million, Standard Charted Private Equity unit which was previously a minority shareholder in the spa and beauty operator will now acquire a controlling interest pro-acquisition.

“We are privileged to partner with Siyanli and its management team, who are determined to continue building a successful beauty care brand that caters to the future needs of China customers. We look forward to supporting the team to accelerate its growth and presence in China,” said Zhu Wei, the managing director of Standard Chartered Private Equity.

Founded in 1996, Siyanli is a high-end beauty care service provider in China, operating under the brand “Si Yan Li” which has been established as a recognisable beauty care brands and reports a strong brand funnel across the cities it operates in.

Siyanli operates 160 beauty centers in dozens of cities in China via self-owned and franchised stores, where consumers can receive skin care and anti-aging treatments, as well as massage and spa services. It claims to have over 100,000 paid members.

Post-acquisition, Zhu Wei will also take up the role of chairman at Siyanli following the buyout deal.

“As a partner to Siyanli, SCPE, with the joint effort from the investment consortium, we hope that we can add to the management expertise and avail the Standard Charted Bank global network – to support Siyanli’s growth plan and strategic expansion,” SCPE said.

SCPE manages about US$5 billion, including the Standard Charted’s own funds and money from external investors that include Goldman Sachs Group. As at November 2016, it owned stakes in about 80 companies across Asia, Africa, and the Middle East. These range from a Nigerian energy producer to a Jordanian chicken company.

By Vivian Foo, Unicorn Media

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