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广州德语翻译公司:德国为何担忧中国投资?

作者: 来源: 日期:2016/8/12 8:21:09

Big Read: Chinese M&A: Beijing courts Berlin

德国为何担忧中国投资?

 

广州德语翻译公司:随着德国的创新明星公司库卡被中国企业收入囊中,有关中国投资的争论与质疑在德国各界逐渐升温。

 

At this year’s Hannover Messe, the world’s biggest industrial fair, it was one of the stars of the show: an elegant, ultra-sensitive robot known as an Iiwa that can pour a beer and brew a cup of coffee.

在今年的德国汉诺威工业博览会(Hannover Messe)上,一大亮点是机器人“伊娃”(Iiwa)。她身姿优雅且超级灵敏,可以倒啤酒,还能冲咖啡。德国汉诺威工业博览会是全球最大的工业博览会。广州德语翻译公司。

 

Angela Merkel and Barack Obama, guests of honour on the Messe’s opening day, were intrigued. “Can it squeeze lemons?” the German chancellor asked.

作为此次博览会开幕当天的嘉宾,安格拉•默克尔(Angela Merkel)和巴拉克•奥巴马(Barack Obama)很感兴趣。默克尔问:“它能榨柠檬汁吗?”

 

The Iiwa — or intelligent industrial work assistant — is produced by Kuka, one of Germany’s most innovative engineering companies. But it will not be entirely German for long. Less than a month after the fair, a Chinese appliance-maker called Midea offered to buy Kuka for €4.5bn, in the largest ever Chinese takeover of a German company.

“伊娃”的全称为智能工业工作助理(intelligent industrial work assistant),由德国最善于创新的工程公司之一库卡(Kuka)制造。但过不了多久,该公司就将不完全是一家德国公司了。在此次工博会结束后不到一个月,中国家用电器生产商美的(Midea)提出以45亿欧元收购库卡,这是中国公司向德国公司发起的最大规模的收购。广州德语翻译公司。

 

The idea of a Chinese entity owning one of the nation’s great innovators is a cause for widespread angst in Germany. The hand-wringing started soon after Midea revealed its bid.

德国最善于创新的企业之一完全为一家中国公司所有,这一前景让德国民众普遍感到担忧。在美的公布收购要约后,人们很快就开始不安起来。

 

Kuka is a successful company in a strategic sector that is important for the digital future of European industry,” said Günther Oettinger, the EU’s digital commissioner and a close political ally of Ms Merkel. He called on other European companies to make a counter offer, but no one came forward. Midea announced on Monday that it now holds 94.55 per cent of Kuka’s shares.

欧盟数字专员、默克尔的亲密政治盟友金特•厄廷格(Günther Oettinger)表示:“库卡是一家成功的企业,它所处的战略性行业对于欧洲工业的数字未来至关重要。”他呼吁其他欧洲公司发出反要约(counter offer),但没有一家企业这么做。美的88日宣布,目前持有库卡94.55%的股份。广州德语翻译公司。

 

Even before the Kuka deal, Germany was becoming the top destination for Chinese investment in Europe. Transactions with a total value of $10.8bn were announced in the first half of this year, according to EY, the professional services firm — more than all previous years combined. Chinese investors acquired 37 German companies in that period, EY says — compared with 39 in the whole of 2015.

甚至在美的收购库卡的交易之前,德国已成为中国在欧洲投资的首选目的地。根据专业服务机构安永(EY)的数据,今年上半年宣布的交易总额为108亿美元,超过之前所有年份的总和。安永表示,今年上半年,中国投资者收购了37家德国公司,而2015年全年的数字为39家。

 

In China, we have a lot of respect for German manufacturing excellence, their craftsmanship, their dedication to technology,” says Andy Gu, Midea’s vice-president. “There is lots of goodwill towards German brands, and that is also true in our organisation.”

“在中国,我们对德国制造业的高超水平、精湛的工艺、对科技的执着大为敬佩,”美的副总裁顾炎民(Andy Gu)表示,“人们对德国品牌很有好感,我们公司也是如此。”

 

The range of targets has been wide. Last month, Osram , one of the most venerable names in German business, sold its lamp unit to a consortium led by Chinese LED specialist MLS for more than €400m. In February, Beijing Enterprises bought EEW, the German waste management company, for €1.44bn. Also this year, ChemChina agreed a €925m deal to buy German machinery maker KraussMaffei Group.

中国企业的收购目标非常广泛。上月,德国商界最负盛名的品牌之一欧司朗(Osram)以逾4亿欧元的价格,将其照明业务出售给由中国LED厂商木林森(MLS)牵头的一个财团。今年2月,北京控股(Beijing Enterprises)14.4亿欧元收购德国垃圾能源公司EEW。同样是今年,中国化工(ChemChina)同意以9.25亿欧元收购德国机械制造商克劳斯玛菲(KraussMaffei)广州德语翻译公司。

 

Martin Reitz, chief executive of Rothschild Germany, says 35-40 per cent of German inbound investment in the first half of the year came from China. “We have several deals on the go with Chinese involvement right now,” he says.

罗斯柴尔德投行德国分公司(Rothschild Germany)的首席执行官马丁•赖茨(Martin Reitz)表示,今年上半年德国获得的外商投资有35%40%来自中国。他表示:“我们现在有好几笔正在进行的交易都有中国的参与。”

 

The pivot towards Germany “reflects [China’s] strategic plan to be much more focused on innovation, on high-tech brands, to enable them to shift to a more advanced industrial society”, he adds.

他补充称,重心转向德国“反映出(中国的)战略计划,即大大加强对创新和高科技品牌的关注,从而能够向更先进的工业社会转型”。

 

German technology firms are a key focus, but the Chinese net has widened to include everything from pharma and biotech companies to clinics and care homes. Meanwhile, “since the Brexit vote, several top managers in China are thinking about moving their European headquarters from Britain to Germany”, says Yi Sun, a partner at EY Germany.

德国科技公司是中国企业重点关注的领域,但中国的收购大网已扩大到无所不包——从制药和生物科技公司,到诊所和养老院。与此同时,安永德国公司合伙人孙轶表示,“自从英国脱欧公投以来,中国好几家顶级资产管理公司都正考虑将其欧洲总部从英国迁到德国”。广州德语翻译公司。

 

Regulatory scrutiny

监管审查

 

Midea’s announcement of its offer for Kuka on May 18 rang alarm bells in the German political elite, given the company’s place at the heart of “Industrie 4.0” — Germany’s ambitious drive to link the real-life factory with the virtual world. The company is best-known for big industrial robots used to make things like cars and planes. But it is working on more intelligent machines that can send and receive data from the cloud and connect to the much-vaunted “internet of things”.

518日,美的宣布对库卡发出收购要约,这令德国政治精英感到警惕,因为库卡处于德国“工业4.0”宏伟计划的核心,该计划旨在将实体工厂与虚拟世界联系起来。库卡的大型工业机器人最出名,这种机器人是用来制造汽车和飞机等产品的。但库卡正致力于制造更智能的机器,可以从云端收发数据并与大受吹捧的“物联网”连接。

 

However, Chinese ownership of Kuka “could be problematic for customers that want to go into the cloud”, says Roland Klose, a business professor and board member of the DSW independent shareholders’ association. “Some of them worry about the security of sensitive industrial and corporate data if the owner of the company is Chinese.”

然而,商学教授、德国独立股东协会DSW董事罗兰•克洛泽(Roland Klose)表示,中国企业对库卡的所有权“对那些想进入云端的客户可能会是个问题”。“如果库卡的所有者变成中国人,一些客户会担心敏感工业和企业数据的安全性。”

 

Such concerns are not confined to Germany. Last month, British prime minister Theresa May delayed the final go-ahead for Hinkley Point C, a massive new nuclear plant backed by China General Nuclear Power Group, amid signs of a rethink on Chinese investment in the UK. Nick Timothy, her policy guru, wrote last year that China could use its stake in the British nuclear industry to engage in energy blackmail, threatening to turn off the power in the event of an international crisis.

这些担忧并非德国独有。上月,英国首相特里萨•梅(Theresa May)推迟了欣克利角C(Hinkley Point C)核电站的最终放行,这个大型新建核电站得到中国广核集团(China General Nuclear Power Group)的投资;与此同时,有迹象表明英国正对中国投资进行重新评估。梅的政策专家尼克•蒂莫西(Nick Timothy)去年写道,中国可能会利用其在英国核电行业的的持股做出能源讹诈之事,也就是在发生国际危机时威胁切断电力供应。广州德语翻译公司。

 

Elsewhere, too, a number of Chinese deals targeting sensitive foreign assets have fallen foul of regulatory scrutiny, particularly from the Committee on Foreign Investment in the US. In January CFIUS shot down Philips’ attempt to sell its lighting business to a Chinese-led consortium. In February, Tsinghua Unigroup withdrew from a $3.8bn investment in Western Digital after the deal was flagged for an investigation by CFIUS. ChemChina’s planned $44bn takeover of Swiss chemical group Syngenta is now also looking under pressure after the company was forced to refile its application to CFIUS in June.

在其他国家,很多中国收购外国敏感资产的交易都因监管审查而遭遇麻烦,特别是来自美国外国投资委员会(Committee on Foreign Investment)的审查。今年1月,该委员会否决了飞利浦(Philips)将其照明业务出售给一家由中国企业牵头的财团的计划。今年2月,清华紫光(Tsinghua Unigroup)撤销了以38亿美元投资西部数据(Western Digital)的交易,此前这笔交易接到美国外国投资委员会的调查通知。中国化工以440亿美元收购瑞士化工集团先正达(Syngenta)的计划现在看似也面临压力,此前在6月,中国化工被迫重新向美国外国投资委员会提交相关文件。

 

Mr Reitz says it is “legitimate” to think about what happens when you transfer control of high-tech companies like Kuka to the Chinese. “The more iconic a company, the more this will be debated,” he says. “But if you really want to be China’s strategic partner, you can’t try and stop these deals.”

赖茨表示,当你将库卡这样的高科技公司的控制权转让给中国人的时候,想想会发生什么是“合情合理的”。他说:“一家公司越具有象征意义,引起的争议就会越大。但如果你真的想要成为中国的战略合作伙伴,你就不能试图阻止这些交易。” 广州德语翻译公司。

 

World’s largest robot market

全球最大的机器人市场

 

Founded by Josef Keller and Jakob Knappich in the Bavarian town of Augsburg in 1898, Kuka began life as a producer of acetylene gas for street lighting, and later branched out into welding machines. In 1973, it developed one of the world’s first industrial robots.

1898年,约瑟夫•凯勒(Josef Keller)和雅各布•克纳皮克(Jakob Knappich)在巴伐利亚州的奥格斯堡创立库卡。这家公司最初生产街道照明用的乙炔气体,后来将业务拓展至焊接机领域。1973年,库卡开发出一台工业机器人,是全球首批工业机器人之一。

 

Midea’s relationship with Kuka goes back years. The company has installed about 100 Kuka robots in its factories, producing everything from vacuum cleaners to washing machines. Last year, Midea acquired a small stake in the German company, building it up to 13 per cent by this spring. Then in May, it unveiled a tender offer for all the remaining stock, offering €115 per share — a chunky 36 per cent premium to the previous day’s closing share price.

美的与库卡的关系可追溯到数年前。美的在自己的工厂种安装了大约100台库卡机器人,生产从吸尘器到洗衣机的各种产品。去年,美的收购了库卡的少量股权,到今年春季其持股增至13%。随后在今年5月,美的披露对库卡所有剩余股份发起要约收购,出价每股115欧元,较该公司股票前一天收盘价足足溢价36%

 

Midea says it saw a chance to help expand Kuka’s presence in its home market. Most Chinese factories are not automated: the country had just 36 robots per 10,000 manufacturing workers in 2014. In contrast, average robot density is 85 in Europe and 79 in the Americas.

美的表示,它看到了帮助库卡扩大中国市场业务的机会。大多数中国工厂没有实现自动化:2014年,中国的机器人密度为36(每1万名制造业工人有36台机器人)。相比之下,欧洲和美国的平均机器人密度分别是8579广州德语翻译公司。

 

But as it moves away from heavy industries towards a more consumer-driven economy, China intends to become one of the world’s top 10 automated nations. By 2020, it plans to have 150 units per 10,000 workers, Wang Ruixiang, president of the China Machinery Industry Federation, said last month.

但在从重工业转向消费驱动型经济之际,中国打算成为全球前十大自动化国家之一。中国机械工业联合会(China Machinery Industry Federation)会长王瑞祥上月表示,到2020年,中国计划将机器人密度提高至150

 

China is becoming the largest robotics market in the world, [and] we want to capture that growth potential,” says Midea’s Mr Gu. “There’s demand not just from us, but from all industries.”

美的副总裁顾炎民表示:“中国正成为全球最大的机器人市场,(而)我们希望抓住这种增长潜力。需求不仅来自我们,而且还来自各个行业。”

 

Kuka is already big in China, with 15 per cent of the market, but it wants to be even bigger and having Midea as its owner will help.

库卡已经在中国占据了15%的市场份额,但它还希望占据更多市场份额,美的成为它的东家将会有助于它实现目标。

 

Midea has a clear picture of how Kuka will benefit from the Chinese market,” says Till Reuter, Kuka’s chief executive. But the reaction from Kuka’s workforce to the offer was one of shock.

库卡首席执行官蒂尔•罗伊特(Till Reuter)表示:“美的清晰地描绘了库卡将如何受益于中国市场。”但库卡员工对此次收购的反应是震惊。广州德语翻译公司。

 

Anyone who hears China and Chinese investments being mentioned initially takes fright,” says Armin Kolb, the workers’ representative on Kuka’s supervisory board. “I’d be lying if I said everyone kept calm and everything proceeded as normal.”

库卡监事会的员工代表阿明•科尔布(Armin Kolb)表示:“任何人最初听到提及中国和中国人投资时都大吃一惊。如果我说所有人都很平静,一切照常,那我就是在撒谎。”

 

The political reaction was just as negative. Sigmar Gabriel, Germany’s deputy chancellor, said it would be “appropriate if there was at least one alternative offer from Germany or Europe”.

政治上的反应同样负面。德国副总理西格马尔•加布里尔(Sigmar Gabriel)表示,“如果至少有一个来自德国或欧洲的替代报价,那还较为妥当”。

 

Ms Merkel, who happened to be on a trip to China with a delegation of German businessmen, also reportedly expressed her concern. A key source of irritation in Berlin is that such a deal would be impossible in China, which in many industries restricts foreign companies to joint ventures. “We expect reciprocity on the Chinese side too,” she told officials during the trip.

有报道称,正好带着一个德国商务代表团在访华的默克尔也表达了担忧。在柏林,令人们不满的一个关键因素是,此类交易在中国是不可能发生的——中国在许多行业限制外国公司与中国公司合资经营。默克尔在访华期间向官员们表示:“我们希望中方也能给予我们同等待遇。”

 

Yet there was no way her government could block the deal. Ministers can only intervene to prevent a takeover by a non-EU investor when it involves “strategic” infrastructure such as energy networks, or defence companies. Kuka does not qualify.

然而,默克尔政府没有能够阻止该交易的手段。部长们只有在涉及能源网络等“战略性”基础设施或防务公司的时候,才能出手阻止一家非欧盟投资者的收购。库卡不在此列。广州德语翻译公司。

 

Mr Reuter spoke to other potential bidders, while continuing to negotiate with Midea’s boss Paul Fang. There were hopes that the Swiss engineering group ABB might step in. Friedhelm Loh, a German industrialist who owned 10 per cent of Kuka, was also approached, but said in June that he could not afford to buy the whole company. “Lots of names were floated, but were they prepared to do something?” says Mr Reuter. “We had one offer on the table.”

罗伊特接洽了其他潜在竞购者,同时继续与美的老板方洪波(Paul Fang)谈判。此前人们曾寄望于瑞士工程集团ABB可能参与竞购。罗伊特还与持有库卡10%股份的德国工业家弗里德黑尔姆•洛(Friedhelm Loh)进行了接洽,但后者在今年6月表示,他可能买不起整家公司。罗伊特表示:“许多名字我们都考虑过了,但他们打算做什么吗?我们有一份要约摆在面前。”

 

Midea was surprised by the backlash. “We didn’t expect such a high level of negative comments,” says Mr Gu. “But you have to accept that there are certain fears in Germany and so you must thoroughly explain the rationale of the deal.”

美的对这种反弹感到意外。顾炎民表示:“我们没有预料到有这么高层次的负面评论。但你必须接受这一事实,即在德国存在一些担忧,因此你必须充分解释这笔交易的理由。”

 

Much of the anger at the Chinese bid was directed at Mr Reuter. Mr Loh and another big shareholder, the German engineering group Voith, both criticised him for publicly supporting the offer. In the end, though, both sold their stakes.

对中国这笔收购要约的怒气有许多撒到了罗伊特身上。洛和另一个大股东——德国制造商福伊特(Voith)——都因罗伊特公开支持中国的收购要约而指责他。然而,到头来,他们都卖掉了自己的股份。

 

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