Fujian Grand Chip Investment Fund LP (FGC) has agreed to buy Aixtron in a deal valuing the German semiconductor equipment maker at 670 million euros ($752 million), adding to a string of Chinese takeovers of German technology companies.
FGC, a Chinese investment fund controlled by businessman Zhendong Liu, said on Monday it would offer 6 euros per share to buy loss-making Aixtron, representing a 51 percent premium over the company's three-month volume-weighted average share price.
News of the deal pushed the German company's stock up 15 percent to a five-month high of 5.49 euros in early trade.
Aixtron is the latest in a series of German industrial groups to be targeted by Chinese buyers as the world's second-largest economy tries to make the transition from a low-cost factory location into a high-tech industrial hub.
Last week, Chinese home appliance maker Midea Group made an offer to buy factory robot manufacturer Kuka AG for around $5 billion.
Aixtron makes metal organic chemical vapour deposition or MOCVD tools, which are key for the production of red, blue, green and white light emitting diodes (LEDs).
Its stock lost more than half of its market value after Sanan Optoelectronics, China's biggest LED chip maker, cancelled an order.
"In our view, it makes sense for FGC to acquire Aixtron for its MOCVD and compound semiconductor technology, as ... Sanan is located in the same province as FCG and is backed by local government," Berenberg analyst Tammy Qiu said in a note.
Aixtron's strategy is to remain unchanged following the takeover, and it will maintain its three technology hubs at its headquarters in Herzogenrath, Germany, in Britain's Cambridge and Sunnyvale in the United States, the two companies said.
Cost and staff cuts are not part of the takeover plan, and Aixtron's Chief Executive Martin Goetzeler and Chief Operating Officer Bernd Schulte are to remain in office, they said.
FGC will provide around 1.7 billion yuan ($260 million), or around 231 million euros, of equity financing, while the rest of the funds for the takeover will come from debt facilities.
JP Morgan is acting as financial adviser to Aixtron and White & Case LLP is its legal adviser. Buttonwood Finance Ltd is investment adviser to FGC, Deutsche Bank is financial adviser, and Paul Hastings LLP and Glade Michel Wirtz are legal advisers to the Chinese group.
($1 = 0.8908 euros)
($1 = 6.5486 Chinese yuan renminbi)