Chinese and other suitors in the race to buy German coffee machine maker WMF

German cutlery and coffee machine maker WMF Wuerttembergische Metallwarenfabrik AG (WMF) has received takeover bids from Chinese and other suitors in a deal that may fetch its private equity owner more than €1.5 billion ($1.7 billion).

China's Joyoung Co Ltd and KingClean Electric Co Ltd along with France's Groupe SEB, Italy's De Longhi SpA and Sweden's Electrolux AB have been shortlisted by private equity firm KKR & Co, Reuters yesterday reported, citing people with direct knowledge of the matter.

KKR & Co had acquired WMF in 2012 in a €587 million ($945 million) deal.

WMF was founded in 1853 as a metal repairing workshop and by 1900 it became the world's largest producer and exporter of household metalware.

Through a series of acquisitions, WMF expanded into tableware, cutlery, cookware, kitchen appliances, table and coffee making machines under the alfi, Auerhahn, Kaiser, petra, Silit, Hepp, Schaerer and WMF brand names.

Its commercial customers include customers including Hilton Worldwide Holdings and McDonald's.

It sells its products through around 230 stores in Germany, Austria, and Switzerland and has annual revenues of around €1 billion.