Midea Group headquarters Midea Group

With $10 Billion to Spend on M&A, Midea Goes Shopping

The largest home appliances manufacturer in China, Midea already has a 17% market share and is looking for more — recently competing for GE’s division and doubling its holding in Kuka.

Midea Group Co., China’s biggest maker of home appliances, is looking for acquisition targets as part of its global expansion plan, according to vice president Yuan Liqun.

The company, based in the southern Chinese city of Foshan, is seeking deals that can help it improve its technology, brand and global distribution channels so it can become more competitive, Yuan said. The manufacturer has about 70 billion yuan ($10.75 billion) in cash and notes receivable, she said.

Midea joined competitors, including China’s Haier Group, in seeking technology by making overseas acquisitions. Midea had a 17.1% market share in 2015, followed by Qingdao Haier with 7.9%, Euromonitor International data show.

The Nikkei newspaper reported Tuesday that Toshiba Corp. is in final talks to sell its appliance unit to the Midea Group in a deal that’s possibly worth tens of billions of yen. In an e-mailed statement, Midea said it has been the company’s plan to seek global expansion opportunities, without discussing Toshiba.

Midea shares fell as much as 1.9% in Shenzhen trading Tuesday, extending the decline so far this year to 9.7%.

China’s biggest maker of air conditioners and rice cookers recently doubled its holding in Germany robotmaker Kuka AG, and it was said to have competed for General Electric Co.’s home appliances business, which was eventually bought by Haier.

Midea sells products in the Americas, Mexico and Brazil, according to its website. It spent about $5 billion in the last decade on mostly acquisition of domestic companies, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

By Ran Li, Tian Chen and Daniela Wei

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