China's Shandong hopes to buy stake in German fork lift maker Kion Group: report

China's Shandong Heavy Industries (SHIG) is in advanced talks with Goldman Sachs Capital Partners and Kohlberg Kravis Roberts (KKR) to buy a 25-per cent stake in Germany's fork lift maker Kion Group, in what would potentially be China's biggest investment in a German company.

Citing sources familiar with the talks, German newspaper Handelsblatt yesterday reported that Shandong Heavy has for months been in talks with the PE firms for acquiring the stake that could be worth more than €700 million ($873 million).

Goldman Sachs and KKR had acquired  Kion in 2006 for around €4 billion from German industry group Linde AG.

Founded in 1904, Wiesbaden-based Kion is the world's second-largest fork lift truck maker after Toyota industries, and markets its products under the Linde, Still, Fenwick, OM, Baoli, and Voltas brands in more than 100 countries.

The company manufactures forklifts, warehouse equipment and other industrial trucks, and is also the market leader in Europe.

It formed a Chinese joint venture with Baoli Companies called Kion Baoli (Jiangsu) Forklift Co Ltd in 2009, and is the largest foreign manufacturer of forklift trucks in China.