The Acquisition of FUBA

As part of our ongoing research into Chinese acquisitions in Europe, Datenna decided to highlight and research remarkable cases. This case considers the acquisition of the German automotive supplier Fuba (formerly Delphi’s advanced reception unit).

Short read

  • Delphi’s Advanced Reception Systems was sold to Northeast Industries Group and renamed Fuba Germany in July 2015
  • Key technology for connected cars: 4G, GPS and car-to-car communication
  • The investor is owned by Norinco – a Chinese state-owned defense contractor

A state-owned defense contractor

On July 31st 2015, an acquisition agreement about Fuba Reception System was reached between Delphi Company and Northeast Industries Group. The amount of the transaction was not disclosed.

The business scope of Northeast Industries Group includes (among others) research and production of military mechanical and electrical products. Northeast Industries Group is 100% owned by the Norinco Group. Norinco is a state-owned defense contractor that considers itself the backbone of the Chinese army’s mechanical, information technology, and intelligent equipment development. Norinco is directly owned by the State-owned Assets Supervision and Administration Commission of the State Council. Based on this ownership structure we can conclude that Delphi’s former Advanced Reception Systems (Fuba) is now controlled by the Chinese government.

On June 24th 2020 the US Pentagon listed Norinco as one of 20 Chinese companies owned or controlled by the Chinese military (link).

What does Fuba Automotive Electronics do?

Delphi’s advanced reception unit (Fuba) is a company with over 50 years of experience in automotive communication. They develop antennas and receivers for audio and tv broadcasting but also for 4G connectivity, GPS and car-to-car communication.

With a pool of more than 450 patents they have established an entire product portfolio ranging from entry audio antennas up to complex antennas with multiple services and future Car2Car applications. Fuba also has its own in-house testing and validation capabilities. Unique in the industry, Fuba has the only worldwide measurement field (in Germany) where 3D satellite technology can be measured and tested for real life applications. 

Norinco and acquisitions in Europe

Norinco has been involved in more acquisitions in Germany. In 2012, their subsidiary Henan North China Star Light Mechanical & Electrical acquired Kiekert AG. And in 2015 their subsidiary North Lingyun Industrial acquired the German company Waldaschaff Automotive GmbH. Both companies provide automotive technology. In 2016 another part of Delphi (mechatronics projects) business was acquired and renamed to Merit Automotive Electronics Systems (Spain).

In 2017 Norinco acquired the right to construct and operate an off-shore wind power project in the Adriatic Sea of the coast of Croatia. With this deal they acquired a 76% stake in the Croatian firm Energija Projekt for 30 million euro.

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China-EU FDI Radar

This case study is part of our ongoing research initiative investigating Chinese state-influenced acquisitions in the EU. The aim is to provide greater transparency on Chinese investments in Europe and the links with the Chinese government. It currently covers the period from 2010 to the present. Our findings are displayed on an interactive map.

The map utilizes our CUBO database to establish the degree of governmental influence in the acquiring company. It will be continuously updated.