May 17, 2016 / 7:41 PM / in 4 years

China's Midea to make takeover offer for Germany's Kuka - sources

Robots covered in plastic sheets are seen at a plant of Kuka Robotics in Shanghai August 13, 2014. REUTERS/Pete Sweeney

FRANKFURT (Reuters) - Chinese home appliances maker Midea Group (000333.SZ) is close to making a takeover offer for German industrial robot maker Kuka AG (KU2G.DE), three sources familiar with the matter told Reuters on Tuesday.

Midea Group raised its Kuka stake to a 10.2 percent February, saying at the time that it wanted to further raise its stake in Kuka.

The offer could come as soon as Wednesday and Kuka sees the offer as unsolicited but not unfriendly, two of the sources further said.

The Wall Street Journal was first to report that Midea is close to making an offer for around 114 euros a share, valuing Kuka at roughly 4.4 billion euros ($4.98 billion), citing people familiar with the matter.

Kuka declined comment.

Midea could not be reached for comment.

Kuka shares ended trading in Frankfurt (KU2G.F) 12 percent higher at 97 euros.

Voith Group is the largest shareholder in Kuka, controlling a 25.1 percent stake. SWOCTEM GmbH controls a further 10 percent stake.

Reporting by Alexander Huebner and Irene Preisinger; writing by Edward Taylor

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