Chinese construction equipment manufacturer Sany Heavy Industry has increased its European presence with deal to buy family-owned German concrete pump producer Putzmeister.
Terms of the transaction were not disclosed, but reports have valued the acquisition at around €500 million (US$657 million).
Putzmeister is based in Aichtal near Stuttgart, Germany, and employs around 3000 people. The company confirmed that Sany bought 100% of its shares, which had previously belonged to The Karl Schlecht Family Foundation (90%) and the Karl Schlecht Public Benefit Foundation (10%).
According to the companies, Aichtal will become Sany's new headquarters for concrete machinery outside China. Putzmeister will continue to operate with a "high degree of independence" while Sany will focus on its operations in China, where Putzmeister will be presented as a premium brand.
The companies said Norbert Scheuch would remain in his position as CEO of Putzmeister and would join the Sany executive board.
Founder of Putzmeister Karl Schlecht said the deal marked the first time that a large and well-known, privately-owned German company had merged with a Chinese partner.
But the acquisition is not the first time that Europe's concrete equipment manufacturing sector has been targeted by Chinese companies - in 2008, Chinese company Zoomlion bought Italian concrete pump maker Cifa, and earlier this month, Liugong finalised a deal to buy Polish dozer specialist HSW and its distribution subsidiary Dressta.
Sany's acquisition of Putzmeister is significant for the concrete equipment sector in Europe, and is part of a determined push by Sany to establish itself in the market.
In June last year, the company opened its first manufacturing facility in Europe - a €100 million (US$131 million) factory in Bedburg, Germany, producing truck-mounted pumps, stationary pumps and concrete batching plants.