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[BERLIN] China's Midea Group Co Ltd is only seeking a 49 per cent stake in German industrial robot maker Kuka, Handelsblatt reported on Monday, citing unnamed sources in the German government.
Augsburg-based Kuka is the target of a takeover bid by the Chinese home appliance maker, which has fanned a furious debate over Chinese acquisitions in Europe, with some German politicians calling for tougher restrictions.
Chancellor Angela Merkel said during a visit to Beijing on Monday there was a general openness towards investments from China, but it was expected that the country opened up and offered the same investment conditions.
Instead of being majority-owned by Midea, Kuka would continue to have a strong German anchor shareholder, Handelsblatt reported, adding that Kuka Chief Executive Till Reuter would support such a solution.
Germany's Economy Ministry declined comment, while Kuka did not immediately respond to requests for comment.