German regulators hope to persuade a European company to acquire a stake in industrial robotics maker Kuka amid a push from Chinese appliance manufacturer Midea Group.
Midea, meanwhile, responded that its offer would be mutually beneficial and "in the best interests of Kuka and all its employees and shareholders," according to a Bloomberg report.
The Chinese company, which already holds a 13.5 percent indirect stake in Kuka, last month made an offer for a share of at least 30 percent in hopes of implementing robotics and automation in its appliance factories.
The bid also came amid a wave of foreign investment by Chinese companies, who are increasingly looking overseas — with the approval of government authorities — to combat sluggish domestic growth.
Western governments, however, signaled that they remained wary of the jump in Chinese investment.
A German government spokesman told Bloomberg that Chancellor Angela Merkel hopes to keep innovative companies in Germany, while the country's economic minister acknowledged that "there are efforts to create an alternative offer" to Midea.
Government officials reportedly pinned their hopes on a number of European companies, including Swiss robotics rival ABB, German industrial giant Siemens and German auto parts maker Bosch.
German law could also allow the government to attach conditions to deals for foreign acquisitions of at least 25 percent stakes in German companies.
Kuka officials reiterated that the company is considering Midea's offer.