Precision tool supplier GreatStar to buy Swiss firm TESA in deeper push into robotics

If the acquisition is given the greenlight, the Hangzhou-based firm will possess a richer product portfolio and a wider network of industrial customers.

GreatStar (巨星科技, 002444.SZ), a Hangzhou-based industrial tool developer, said on December 20 that it plans to buy TESA Group, a Swiss manufacturer of precision measurement tools, for around €40 million (US$44 million).

GreatStar, which is also listed on SIX Swiss Exchange, plans to sell part of its global depository receipt (GDR) to finance the transaction, according to an exchange filing.

GreatStar will transact with Hexagon, an equity-holding entity which is specially established for the deal and owns 100% of TESA’s stock.

Following the deal, GreatStar will acquire full ownership of the assets belonging to TESA Group, including a 100% stake in TESA Precision Measurement Instruments Sarl and its assets in China, the United States and France, said the filing.

Tesa Group is based in Renens, Switzerland and reportedly churns out nanometer-grade measuring instruments for industrial use.

GreatStar said its purchase of TESA will grant it access to the technologies behind high-precision measuring tools, which are necessary to the processing of robotic parts.

If the acquisition is given the greenlight, the Hangzhou-based firm will possess a richer product portfolio and a wider network of industrial customers.

Image credit: Unsplash

According to its plan, it will combine the engineering expertise of TESA’s Swiss staff with a sophisticated R&D system in China, so as to manufacture more measurement devices tailored to Chinese market demand.

A deeper move into robotics

Notably, this is not the first time GreatStar has set its sights on further tapping into robotics.

It shelled out 20.40 million yuan (US$2.8 million) as early as 2014 to obtain a 21.94% stake in Guozi Robot, becoming the Hangzhou-headquartered AMR company’s second-largest shareholder.

According to the website of China Securities Regulatory Commission, Guozi Robot had signed a pre-listing tutoring agreement with Huatai United Securities, a securities brokerage firm, in September 2020.

Image credit: Unsplash

This is the first step of the company’s journey to go public on the STAR market of Shanghai Stock Exchange.

In addition to its investment, GreatStar itself is pivoting into robotics, with attempts at diversifying its product lineup.

In a reply to investors on a stock interactive platform on November 29 this year, the firm said it has been doubling down on the Lidar business since 2016, targeting primarily industrial and mobile robotics.

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Ni Tao

Ni Tao is the founder and editor-in-chief of cnrobopedia. Prior to cnrobopedia, he had a full decade of experience with a major state-run English-language newspaper as a tech reporter and opinion writer. He is also a communications specialist, having provided consultancy services to established firms like Siemens, Philips, ABinBev, Diageo, Trip.com Group (Nasdaq: TCOM, HK: 9961), Jianpu Technology (NYSE: JT) and a handful of domestic startups. A graduate of Fudan University, he writes widely about China's business and tech scenes and other topics for global publications including South China Morning Post, SupChina, The Diplomat, CGTN, Banking Technology, among others, and tries to impart his experience to students at Fudan University Journalism School, where he is a part-time lecturer. When he's not writing about robotics, you can expect him to be on his beloved Yanagisawa saxophones, trying to play some jazz riffs, often in vain and occasionally against the protests of an angry neighbor. Get in touch with him by dropping a line at nitao0927@gmail.com.

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