Weichai Power, through its European unit KION Group, has agreed to buy loss-making Luxembourg-based DH Services, a supplier of automation technology, for around US$2.1 billion in a deal that will enable the Shandong province-based automotive and equipment maker it to tap growing logistics demand from the e-commerce sector. The deal will “optimise supply chains and meet the material handling automation needs of its customers” and “create a global leader not only in automotive and equipment manufacturing, but also in advanced material handling”, Weichai said in a filing to Hong Kong’s stock exchange late Tuesday. “In the supply chain and logistics industry, the automated interaction of various processes in production and warehousing is increasingly important,” Weichai said. The sellers include various private investment funds and DH Services’ employees and management. Weichai’s main products are high-speed heavy-duty diesel engines and engines parts. It owns a 38.25 per cent stake in Frankfurt-listed KION, which makes industrial forklifts trucks and sell them to more than 100 nations under seven brands. Weichai said it saw “synergies” by combining KION and DH Services via “mutual leverage of customer channels and sales networks as well as technological capabilities”. DH, which make products under the “Dematic” brand, posted a net loss of US$32.48 million in the 12 months to September 30 last year on revenue of US$1.68 billion, compared to a loss of US$39.8 million in the previous financial year on revenue of US$1.56 billion. With almost 6,000 logistics industry engineers, software developers, project managers and customer service employees, it sells its products and services to customers, including e-commerce businesses, in 21 countries. The deal’s transaction price was based on DH Services’ “enterprise value” of US$3.25 billion after adjusting for items including changes in DH Services’ working capital, cash and debt between the deal’s announcement and September 30 this year. Enterprise value, a measure of a company’s worth commonly used in the professional investment community, is the sum of a listed firm’s market capitalisation and its total debt. DH Services’ total liabilities exceeded its total assets to the tune of US$182.95 million at the end of September last year. Weichai’s shares will resume trading on Wednesday, after they were halted Monday morning pending the deal’s announcement. Its shares last traded at Friday’s closing price of HK$8.34.