The Business Times

HSBC Asia Technology M&A head Choy to join Midea as CFO

Published Mon, Apr 19, 2021 · 04:50 PM

[HONG KONG] HSBC Holdings Plc's head of technology mergers and acquisitions in Asia Jeremy Choy is joining Chinese home appliances giant Midea Group Co as its chief financial officer, according to people familiar with the matter.

Midea is hiring the Hong Kong-based veteran technology dealmaker as it seeks to diversify from its traditional home appliances business. The Chinese company, which focuses on making air conditioners, refrigerators and washing machines, is looking to tap into technology-driven areas such as smart living and the so called Internet-of-Things.

For his new role, Mr Choy will be based at Midea's headquarters in the southern Chinese city of Foshan, the people said, asking not to be identified because the appointment isn't public yet. Mr Choy will replace Helmut Zodl, who left Midea earlier this year to become the CFO of General Electric Co's health care business.

An announcement could come as early as Monday, the people said. A representative for HSBC declined to comment, while a representative for Midea couldn't immediately comment.

Mr Choy joined HSBC in June 2019 from China Renaissance Holdings Ltd, where he was the head of M&A, according to his LinkedIn profile. He previously worked for JPMorgan Chase & Co and Goldman Sachs Group Inc.

Midea's founder and largest shareholder He Xiangjian does not hold a management role nor do his relatives - a rare occurrence for a Chinese family-owned company.

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The company has grown via acquisitions including Kuka AG in 2017, in a deal that valued the German robot maker at 4.6 billion euros (S$7.34 billion). That same year, it bought majority stakes in Toshiba Corp's home appliances business and Clivet SpA, an Italian maker of air conditioners, for undisclosed amounts.

More recent deals include its 13-billion-yuan (S$2.67 billion) purchase of Chinese appliances maker Wuxi Little Swan Co in 2019. In December 2020, it entered the elevator business with the purchase of Winone Elevator Co. Earlier this year, it agreed to buy a 29 per cent stake in Beijing Wandong Medical Technology Co.

Mr Choy's move would follow those of other high-profile bankers joining large companies as CFOs. Peter Enns has joined property-casualty insurer Chubb Ltd after more than 20 years in investment banking, most recently as global co-head of investment banking coverage at HSBC based in Hong Kong. Last year, Credit Suisse Group AG technology banker Alain Lam left the Swiss bank to join Chinese smartphone maker Xiaomi Corp.

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