On Tuesday, Haier Group, China's home appliance giant, announced its successful acquisition of more than 90 percent of Fisher & Paykel Appliances, a New Zealand white goods company. This is just the latest example of Chinese companies going on a bit of a shopping spree for new acquisition targets this year.
Just less than two weeks ago, China's Hainan Airlines Group bought a 48 percent stake in French airline AIGLEAZUR. And now, it's Fisher & Paykel Appliances, New Zealand's top home appliances brand.
The speed of Chinese companies' expansion is getting faster.
Fisher & Paykel Appliances was troubled financially since 2009 when Haier bought a 20 percent stake. And Haier announced on Tuesday that it further boosted its stake to 90 percent. The CEO of Haier said, it is a win-win situation.
Zhang Ruimin, CEO of Haier Group, said, "Fisher&Paykel is a world famous luxurious brand, but after over 10 years, it hasn't expanded fast enough in the global market. Haier on the other hand, has a global market network. We have many resources, but we are lacking this high-end brand, the joint hands will enlarge the business on both sides."
The amount of overseas acquisitions of Chinese companies has reached 90 so far this year. This number has increased rapidly from 33 in 2008 to 110 in 2011. Analysts say this is largely due to cheaper acquisition costs, brought by the tumbling global economy.
Ji Li, a researcher of Zero 2 IPO, said, "Overseas assets are greatly undervalued during the economic crisis, and some companies have difficulties operating, some are even on the brink of bankruptcy. They are actively looking for buyers, so to some extent they have stimulated China's M&A activities. "
However, Ji also said many Chinese companies are green-handed in overseas M&As.
Ji Li said, "There is a generally accepted rule in the M&A sector, it's called the 70 percent rule. It means 70 percent of overseas mergers will not be able to reach their intended commercial value, it means it can't make profit."
According to China's Ministry of Commerce, the success rate of Chinese companies' overseas mergers is around 40 percent, above world average. The CEO of Haier Group says the secret to success is to wisely position the company in the current market environment.