FRANKFURT Oct 13 Any new investor in German
lighting group Osram should guarantee they would
protect jobs and keep factories open, the country's biggest
trade union said, intervening after potential Chinese buyers
IG Metall said there should be an agreement between the
investor, Munich-based Osram and the union in the event that a
new investor takes a stake in the company.
Such an agreement would follow the model of a deal signed by
robotics maker Kuka and Chinese home appliances maker
Midea in the biggest acquisition to date of a German
company by a Chinese buyer.
"We expect an undertaking by a potential investor to
guarantee jobs and sites. Also, Osram must keep its
independence," Juergen Wechsler, IG Metall's Bavaria chief, said
in a statement.
Osram had about 33,000 staff globally at the end of last
Chinese chipmaker Sanan Optoelectronics said on
Monday it had been in contact with Osram about a potential
acquisition or cooperation deal.
Investment group GO Scale Capital has also been named as a
possible buyer for Osram, which is switching focus from
traditional lightbulbs to LED lighting technology.
"Many people think of lightbulbs when they think of the
time-honoured company, but actually it's all about the most
innovative and leading technologies in the lighting market,"
said senior IG Metall official and Osram supervisory board
member Irene Schulz.
Osram, with a market capitalisation of about 6 billion euros
($6.7 billion), would be the biggest German company to be
targeted by a Chinese buyer so far.
($1 = 0.8928 euros)
(Reporting by Jens Hack; Writing by Georgina Prodhan)