Exporters focus on overseas M&As

Updated: 2016-10-20 10:19


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Editor's Note: The China Import and Export Fair, better known as the Canton Fair, is often seen as a barometer of China's foreign trade because a large number of exporters-big or small-display their products at the fair, looking for potential deals from global buyers. China Daily reporters talked to some exporters to see how they are fighting against the slowing global demand, and the organizers explained how they help exporters increase trade efficiency by introducing internet-enabled services.

An increasing number of Chinese exporters are seeking to expand overseas through acquisitions to beat the slowdown of global demand, according to corporate executives.

They plan to build the acquired firms into research and development centers, reduce trade barriers and boost falling sales.

"It's not easy for us to expand business in foreign markets, especially in Europe and America. We will turn the acquired local companies into research centers to acquire cutting-edge technology and push forward product innovation," said Zhang Huaizhen, general manager assistant at the international department at Shimge Pump Industry Group Co Ltd.

Shimge, a Zhejiang-based listed company, bought two foreign pump firms-Wita Wilhelm Taake GmbH in Germany and Hel-Wita Sp. z o.o. in Poland in September, and has recently been sniffing around for takeover targets in the United States.

Outbound M&A deals that were either completed or in process in the first nine months of 2016 exceeded the volume reported for all of last year, according to data compiled by Moody's Investors Service Inc, the provider of credit ratings and research.

To address the challenge amid the grim foreign trade situation, AUX Import and Export Co Ltd, the Ningbo-based home appliance manufacturer, is also screening potential takeover targets in Latin America in order to reduce the barriers to trade, according to the company's General Manager Zhang Xuequan.

In addition, the company is planning to set up a factory in Thailand in the next one to two years to consolidate the market in Southeast Asia, Zhang added.

Moody's report said that Chinese companies might face significant execution and finance risks, as their experience in managing overseas investments is relatively short. That could prevent the deals from generating synergies, and might exert negative influence on the acquirers' credit quality.

"Chinese companies are not content to be just original equipment manufacturers. We need to upgrade products and establish our own brands globally," said Zhang from Shimge.