Chinese home-appliance maker Midea Group 000333 -2.06 % announced Wednesday it plans to launch a takeover of Germany s Kuka AG KU2 28.84 % , in a deal that values the industrial robot maker at more than $5 billion, making it one of the largest unsolicited approaches of a foreign company by a Chinese buyer.
Midea Group said it intends to increase the shares it owns in Kuka to more than 30%, which requires an offer for all issued shares in the Ausburg, Germany-based company.
Morgan Stanley is providing Midea with a bridge loan to finance the deal, a spokeswoman for the Chinese company said.
State-owned China Securities Finance Corp Ltd and private-equity firm CDH Investments are among Midea s minority shareholders.
Closely held German engineering company Voith Group holds 25% in Kuka, with another 10% being held by German billionaire Friedhelm Loh via his holding company.
On the bright side for Voith Group and Mr. Loh, stronger ties with Midea could help Kuka spur sales in China, which is the world s fastest-growing robotics market with an expected annual growth of 14% for the next few years, according to the Chinese company.