China’s efforts to connect with German stock market look set to come to fruition after white goods maker Qingdao Haier confirmed that it is studying the feasibility of issuing the so-called D shares in Frankfurt, following more than two years of preparations by regulators.
Haier was founded as Qingdao Refrigerator Co in 1984, although the company’s roots date back to the 1920s. It is the dominant whiteware manufacturer in China and has been expanding offshore. In 2005, Haier made a US$1.28 billion, or US$16 per share, bid for Maytag, which was ultimately bought by Whirlpool Corp for US$1.7 billion. In 2009, it bought 20 per cent of New Zealand whiteware firm Fisher & Paykel (F&P) at the height of the global financial crisis, and won control of F&P in October 2012.