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M & a of China Automobile Industry Essay

The Researches on Overseas Mergers and Acquisitions of China Automobile Industry in Post-Crisis Period? ZHU Qin School of Economics, Zhejiang Gongshang University, P. R. China, 310018 Zhuqin9871@163. com Abstract: Since the 2008 financial crisis, the overseas mergers and acquisitions (M&A) of China automobile industry have become a topic the world’s automobile market most concerns about. This paper views that the rapid growth of the domestic automobile market, the adjustments in overseas auto industry and much support from government’s policies provide a good background and favorable conditions to overseas M&A of China automobile industry.

It also points out that although China’s state-owned enterprises are still the main body of overseas mergers and acquisitions of China auto industry, private enterprises are playing an increasingly important role. Through studying specific cases, the paper proposes countermeasures concerning overseas mergers and acquisitions of China automobile industry in post-crisis period. Keywords: Post-crisis period, the automobile industry, overseas mergers and acquisitions 1 Introduction

The rapid growth of China’s economy since the reform and opening, the explosive increase of automobile industry in recent years and government’s supporting policies on the automobile industry altogether offer new opportunities and conditions to overseas M&A of China automobile industry. At present, China has become the largest automobile producer in the global. In 2009, the top ten automobile manufacturing countries were: China (13791000), Japan (7. 935 million), United States (5. 697 million), Germany (5. 206 million ), Korea (3. 513 million), Brazil (3. 183 million), India (2. 628 million), Spain (2. 17 million), France (1.935 million), Mexico (1. 561 million).

Large-scale production capacity endows China auto companies with a base to expand overseas. Following the 2008 financial crisis, the global economic downturn has had the international Automotive Group faced with overcapacity problem; meanwhile, the global credit shortage has brought great pressure to the survival and development of the automobile business. Funding gaps emerged in many international auto giants. After the financial crisis, the asset value of many foreign enterprises is seriously underestimated, which gives a good chance for Chinese enterprises to take a shot.

Through overseas M&A access to the dreaming international auto brands, the core technology and international marketing channels can be acquired at low costs. At the same time, Chinese auto companies have sufficient capital reserves at the present stage, and with the strong support from the government and national financial institutions, there is a potential for them to become competitive buyers for part of the international Automotive Group’s quality assets. It is worth mentioning that related departments in the Chinese government treat the auto industry as a pillar industry of national economy, giving it much positive policy support.

“The automotive industry restructuring and rejuvenation program”, promulgated in 2009 increased efforts to support the automobile industry. First, the program states that “it is required to promote the restructuring of the automotive industry, to support M&A of large-scale automobile enterprise groups, to expand the scale of major auto parts enterprises through M&A. ” Previously, the major auto companies were not willing to conduct cross-regional restructuring because of too many barriers. “The automotive industry restructuring and rejuvenation program” can effectively solve this kind of concerns.

In related detailed ? [Sustentation Fund]: National Science Fund of China (70703030) , Zhejiang Province Science Fund (Y6080222), Humanity and Social Science Fund of Chinese Ministry of Education (07JA790083, 09YJC790240) 43 M & D FORUM regulations, associated guidelines are made which involve the acquirer and acquiree, such as the source of acquisition financing, tax issues that may arise in acquisition, the asset disposal of acquired companies and employee relocation and other problems prone to cause disputes or already existing barriers.

At the same time, it will lift the standard of admitting foreign asset and acquiring related domestic enterprises to (protectively) enhance the competitiveness of domestic auto companies. In addition, in March 16, 2009, the Ministry of Commerce issued ” procedures for the administration of foreign investment ” to further reform foreign investment management system, promote the facilitation of foreign investment, support Chinese enterprises to “go out” and participate more in international economic cooperation and competition.

These help to raise strong and positive support for overseas M & A of China automobile industry. 2 The Main Body of Overseas M&A of China Automobile Industry Before 2008, although there were many cases of overseas M&A in China automobile industry, such as SAIC’s acquisition of Ssang Yong in 2004, Nanjing Auto ’s acquisition of Rover in 2005 and so on, the overall impact and scale were still limited and attention from the domestic and international was not intense enough.

From 2006 to 2008, the scale of M&A China’s major automobile companies has been further reduced, with the total number of only 7. It only covered 19% of the total number of Chinese car companies’ various overseas investment. Other overseas investment approaches were: 21 cases of joint ventures or strategic alliances, accounting for 57%, 8 cases of factory founding directly, accounting for 22%, and 1 case of technology transfer. But after 2008, when the world auto market is still full of financial cold haze, the Chinese auto companies went against the trend.

A number of enterprises joined with foreign auto brands in carrying out cross-border marriage. In this short year, both the vehicle industry or parts manufacturers lunched many acquisitions either far-reaching or with extremely high degree of concern. Beijing Automobile Works acquired Saab, Geely acquired Volvo, Beijing West Industry’s acquisition of the U. S. Delphi, Geely DSI bought Australian automatic transmission companies, to name just a few. Overall, in the current automobile industry, China’s M & A main body is evolving towards a diversed boom.

China’s automobile companies participating in overseas M & A are no longer confined to state-owned ones. Due to their growing strength and government’s supportive policies, private enterprises have become the new force, injecting new vigor and vitality into the overseas M&A of China automobile industry. However, state-owned enterprises are still the most important main body in cross-border M & A activities [7]. In this M & A wave, the Beijing Automotive, as one of the state-owned enterprises, successfully finished the acquisition of the Swedish brand Saab in December 2009.

State-owned enterprises have an advantage of large scale, but often there is a serious deficiency in the governance, a general lack of motivation of in the management. A majority of state-owned operators have an incomplete momentum for cross-border M & A. The private enterprise, with their natural clear property rights, fewer policy constraints, and a flexible structure and mechanism are playing an increasingly important role in the wave of automotive M&A.

Thanks to less intervention from the government and following less protection compared with the state-owned enterprises, private enterprises possess stronger self-awareness, risk awareness and a sense of competition. Increasingly powerful private enterprise group is supposed to become an important force in the cross-border M & A in the future [15]. In this M&A wave, the most distinctive representative of private enterprises is China Geely Group. As a leader of China’s private auto enterprise, in March 2010, it successfully reached an agreement with General Motors, purchasing 100% of the shares of GM’s Volvo.

3 A Study of Overseas M & A Cases in China Automobile Industry 44 M & D FORUM 3. 1 Overseas M & A cases of automobile enterprises In the choice of overseas M & A targets, China’s auto enterprises prefer developed regions like Europe and the United States, especially concentrating on world’s top 10 auto-producing countries besides China such as the United States, France and other places. The vehicle industry in these areas has long history, with many powerful brands, more developed economy, higher living standard and stronger consumer ability.

In the choice of specific targets, Chinese enterprises are in favor of those enterprises that are of highly well-known brands, a long history, as well as advanced technology and experienced management. However, during this financial crisis, a serious setback in operating performance led some of these companies or brands to great losses or even near-collapse. Geely’s acquisition of Volvo and Beijing Auto’s of Saab is representative ones. They are very typical in this M&A wave starting after the financial crisis. 3. 1.

1 Beijing auto’s acquisition of Saab On December 28, 2009, Beijing Automotive Holdings formally announced the acquisition of relevant intellectual property rights of Saab cars at a cost of 200 million U. S. dollars. By then, Beijing Automotive has gotten the core data of the complete research, production, marketing, quality control system. This international transaction is the first successful case for a domestic automobile enterprise to carry out the acquisition of foreign advanced and complete vehicle power technology since 2009.

As one of a few China’s Automotive Groups who not yet have their own brands, Beijing Automotive is very urgent on owning its own brand-related technology. So the successful marriage with the Saab is of great significance for Beijing Automotive to speed up the process of independent R & D and internationalization. 3. 1. 2 Geely’s acquisition of Volvo On December 23, 2009, Ford Motor Company released a statement of reaching a framework agreement to sell its Volvo to Geely.

In March 28, 2010, Geely signed a definitive stock purchase agreement with Ford to buy 100% of the shares of Volvo Car at a cost of 1. 8 billion U. S. dollars and then signed a definitive agreement concerning related assets [32]. This saliva battles full of troubles ended with Geely tenaciously achieving its dream of “snake swallows elephant”. It is a spur for other domestic auto enterprises, also a major step for Geely towards the international market Simultaneously it helps the Volvo brand to further open the Chinese market,.

However, it is not easy for Geely to “digest” Volvo. Whether it is because of the picky European Union, or high operating costs for brand, or cultural integration, especially the integration and management of Volvo’s distributors, factories and suppliers scattering over more than 100 countries and 2,400 regions. There are a series of huge problems. 3. 2 Overseas M & A cases of automobile parts enterprises After the financial crisis, overseas auto parts enterprises were faced with greater difficulties than full-vehicle enterprises.

Bankruptcy and M&A happened frequently. Influenced by this round of auto industry structure adjustment, the integration of parts suppliers intensified, and M & A wave aimed at supplier groups resurged. Foreign well-known auto parts enterprises like Australian transmission company DSI, Delphi in the United States and so on occupy pivotal positions in the auto parts industry, and even have a significant impact on the development of the full-vehicle market. Direct purchase of foreign auto parts enterprises is local suppliers’ one way of gaining access to core technology.

After the current financial crisis, the M&A cases of auto parts enterprises are quite frequent and also larger and more far-reaching than that of before the crisis. Such as Geely’s acquisition of the Australian transmission company DSI, Beijing West Industry’s acquisition of U. S. Delphi, WanXiang Group’s acquisition of the U. S. DS automobile steering shaft and so on. 3. 2. 1 Beijing West Industry’s acquisition of Delphi On March 31, 2009, Delphi formally agreed to sell its global businesses of braking and suspension to Beijing West Industry.

Beijing West was prepared to pay 90 million U. S. dollars in cash to acquire Delphi’s related machinery and equipment, intellectual property and real estate, including its businesses of braking and suspension in eight plants, five technology centers and 14 technical support and customer 45 M & D FORUM service centers which locate worldwide. 3. 2. 2 Geely’s acquisition of DSI. On March 27, 2009 in New South Wales State’s Government Building, the signing ceremony of Geely acquiring Australian Automatic Transmission Company was held.

According to a statement from Li Shufu, the Chairman of Geely Group, Geely conducts a wholly-owned acquisition of DSI for it values DSI’s complete designing and manufacturing capabilities accumulated over 80 years. DSI Automatic Transmission Company is an automatic transmission specialist centralizing research and development, manufacturing, and sales altogether. What is more, it is one of the only two global automatic transmission companies that are independent from all automotive vehicle companies.

4 Countermeasures and Suggestions for Overseas M & A of China Automobile Industry 4. 1 The selection of objects for overseas M & A First of all, when making overseas M & A, Chinese auto enterprises need to be careful of those M & A targets who already have no competitive advantage within the industry, and just to sell companies to reject the burden. Therefore, they should be especially cautious in the choice of Objects for overseas M & A and take various factors into consideration.

Second, while doing overseas M&A, Chinese auto enterprises can not just focus on targets of low purchase price, but on the potential value of the enterprises after the acquisition. Therefore, the Chinese auto enterprises ought to choose targets that are consistent and coordinated with their own strategic objectives, and can complement their own businesses to achieve synergies; to choose overseas assets with low cost but are able to produce better results through the integration.

Finally, in assessing M & A targets, priority should be given to smaller yet high quality objects in accordance with their requirements. M & A are to be done for many times, at small amount and with steady integration. 4. 2 A careful and scientific implementation of overseas M & A After enterprises have determined the strategic premise of overseas M & A consistent with their own development requirements, they need to compare the key links in tactic and carry on related initiatives.

First, in M & A planning session, to establish a more comprehensive overseas assessment system; to do a comprehensive and quantitative research with regard to the status of the host country market, national policies and regulations, competition pattern, the main risks; to do further accurate assessment of the target company’s technology, independent intellectual property rights, operation status and potential value, weighing the risks and opportunities.

Second, after selecting the target of M & A, a comprehensive understanding of the business-related technology, the details of intellectual property rights should be gained, and the specific items and amounts of M & A be finalized. To maximize benefits at the lowest cost by conducting effective negotiations. Third, after the transaction is completed, to assess comprehensively the differences of both managements in management philosophy, and the differences of staff in culture, values, benefits, remuneration and so on. To orderly propel the process of integration in achieving M & A objects.

4. 3 The implementation of the strategic resource reserves in overseas M & A To obtain opportunities of overseas M&A, auto industry are required to carry out resource reserves in four aspects. First, human resources reserves. The Chinese auto enterprises should consciously reserve all kinds of overseas M & A professionals as soon as possible. Second, M & A experience reserves. By continually accumulating experience through practices, enterprises can learn more about related laws and regulations, operating procedures, and precautions to reduce risks, and then improve the success rate.

Third, M & A financial reserves. To fight for access to financial support from the government or large financial institutions. To ensure enough amount of money while minimizing financial costs. 46 M & D FORUM 5 Conclusion During post-crisis period, the China automobile industry is facing an unprecedented good opportunity in overseas M&A. With the support of concerning policies, the China auto industry is adopting an active global strategy. Through the integration of global auto industry resources, the international competitiveness force of China auto industry is enhanced in a great degree.

In the process of overseas M&A, the China auto industry needs to actively carry out relevant strategic resource reserves, scientifically select acquisition targets, and carefully as well as scientifically implement specific overseas M & A strategy. Author in brief: Zhu Qin, PHD, Associate Professor, School of Economics, Zhejiang Gongshang University Email: zhuqin9871@163. com.

References [1]. Stefano Rossiand Paolo Volpin. Cross-Country Determinants of Mergers and Acquisitions [M]. London Business School, 2002 [2]. Guo Jianhua.

The global automotive industry changing situation report [R]. Beijing: Equality in Automobile Research Institute, 2009(in Chinese) [3]. RolandBerger Strategy Consultants. China’s auto industry development, in the current financial crisis the opportunities and challenges [R], 2009 (in Chinese) [4]. State Council Development Research Center of Industrial Economics Research Department, Society of Automotive Engineers of China, Volkswagen Group. China Automotive Industry Development Report [M]. Beijing: Social Sciences Academic Press, 2009. 7 (in Chinese) 47

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