- Germany prevents acquisition of medical equipment manufacturer
- Borgward now also bankrupt in China
- With scrap to ‘green steel’
- DJI no longer active in Russia
- Authorities promise relaxations in Shanghai
- Xi wants to boost infrastructure spending
- China reports first human case of H3N8 bird flu
- US investigates chipmaker YMTC
- Profile: Rinchen Kyi – Tibetan teacher has been freed
In our Wednesday issue, we reported on China’s waning interest in investing in Europe. In particular, spending on company acquisitions is declining. Acquisitions of German companies by Chinese investors have frequently come under fire in the past. Now Berlin has refused the buyout of Heyer Medical AG by Aeonmed Group from Beijing – the deal, however, is already three years old and has practically already been completed in the meantime. Finn Mayer-Kuckuk looks for us at the already existing relations between the two companies.
A traditional German brand died its second death in China at the beginning of April. Beijing Borgward filed for bankruptcy in Beijing on April 8. Borgward was once one of the most famous car manufacturers in Germany. There, however, the inventor of legendary models such as the “Isabella” already went bankrupt in 1961. In China, truck manufacturer Beiqi Foton wanted to breathe new life into the Bremen car brand. But Foton’s distribution subsidiary Borgward China, founded in 2016, never made any money at all, writes Felix Lee in his analysis. In China, the brand lacked its nostalgic factor. The “dreams of the car phoenix from the ashes,” as a German newspaper once headlined, remained unfulfilled.
There are some numbers that are beyond anyone’s imagination. China’s steel production is one of them. The People’s Republic produces over one billion tons of crude steel annually. That is the weight of over six million blue whales. But can you imagine so many animals? China’s steel sector is one of the country’s biggest climate polluters. To cut emissions, more scrap metal is to be recycled, Ning Wang reports. Scrap metal that used to end up in landfills now becomes an important raw material.
Three years later: Germany prevents acquisition of Heyer Medical
The German government has retroactively barred an acquisition that had already been closed: Beijing-based Aeonmed Medical was not allowed to buy Heyer Medical. “This acquisition is prohibited for reasons of public order and safety,” a spokesman for the German Federal Ministry of Economics and Climate Protection (BMWK) told China.Table. The reason: Heyer Medical manufactures respiratory equipment. “During the COVID-19 pandemic, it became apparent that Germany needs to maintain its own manufacturing and production capacities to be able to supply itself with ventilators independently of non-European manufacturers,” the ministry said.
However, the German government has taken several years to reach this decision. This now poses significant problems for the companies. The two companies are already highly integrated. The new Chinese parent company advertises German quality and proudly presents a picture of the site in Bad Ems on its homepage. Heyer, in turn, received strong help from China in 2020 when the pandemic crippled production. The Beijing parent company unbureaucratically supplied the Germans with safety equipment. In the meantime, the company switched to selling equipment from Aeonmed in Germany.
But much more importantly, the Chinese parent was about to invest around a million euros to set up a customer service department based at Heyer, as Germany’s Westerwaelder Zeitung reported in October 2020. Twelve new employees were to be hired for this project. The two companies will probably have to cancel all these projects now. At Heyer Medical in Bad Ems, only an answering machine picked up on Wednesday, so a statement from the company is pending. German newspaper Handelsblatt first reported on the decision by the federal government.