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German Robotics and Chinese Money: What’s Next for KUKA and Midea?

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The case captures the high-profile takeover of KUKA, the German industrial robotics gem, by the world’s consumer appliances leader, the Midea Group (“Midea”) in 2016.  Against China’s national agenda of Made In China 2025 (“MIC 2025”), the acquisition plays well to the narrative in the country, but it raised scepticism across Europe and in North America.  Discussion will focus on examining the value chain of the two companies to identify areas of new value creation.  The objective is to provide a canvas for students to explore strategies for growth, for competitive advantage, and for market leadership.  Through the discussion and analysis, students will come to grasp the set of complex challenges facing a Chinese company on a cross-border M&A.  The case also exposes the cultural differences between China and the developed economies, particularly in management culture and the culture for innovation, and provides the context for discussions on these issues.  

Learning Objective:

  • To provide students with a basic understanding of value creation in mergers & acquisitions.
  • To explore the opportunities and challenges for a Chinese company in its post-M&A integration with a German technology leader towards value creation.
  • To facilitate a general discussion on innovation and cross-cultural management.
  • To offer an opportunity to discuss formulation of strategies for growth, differentiation and leadership.

Year of Publication: 2020
Ref. No.: 20/663C
Discipline: Organizational Behavior and Leadership, Strategy & General Management
Industry: Automobiles & Components, Capital Goods
Country: China (People's Rep. of), Germany
Company: The Midea Group Co., Ltd., KUKA Aktiengesellschaft
Languages: English
Pages of Text: 16