(Yicai Global) Dec. 11 -- Executives at Gree Electric Appliances Inc. of Zhuhai [SHE:000651] recently visited several well-known state-owned enterprises in Luoyang, Henan province, Yicai Global discovered after receiving exclusive access to a customer report from Luoyang Commission of Industry and Information Technology.
Dong Mingzhu, chairman, and Wang Jingdong, vice president, visited Luoyang LYC Bearing Co. and AVIC Jonhon Optronic Technology Co. [SHE:002179] between Nov. 28 and Dec. 10, according to the report. Gree staff confirmed the information.
The report states that a 14-strong team led by Wang visited LYC Bearing on Nov. 28 and appointed an accounting firm to carry out due diligence on the firm. Dong visited on Dec. 10.
Gree disclosed in September that it would take part in the mixed ownership reform of the LYC Bearing, which claims on its website to be one of the largest comprehensive manufacturers in the country. The firm provided parts for the nation's Shenzhou-5 and Shenzhou-6 manned spaceships.
LYC Bearing's reform wasn't progressing quickly, Gree told Yicai Global. Henan provincial government is leading the change and hopes to bring in new investors. There is no current schedule for the restructuring and it's hard to judge how successful it will be, the appliance maker added. The bearing manufacturer ranks among industry leaders in terms of equipment and technologies, but operations haven't been up to scratch in recent years. The firm serves a wide range of customers, though automotive buyers make up a large proportion.
Gree signed a deal with the Commission of Industry and Information of Henan Province and Luoyang municipal government on Sept. 15. Under the agreement, it will attract companies from its industrial chain to jointly build a smart manufacturing base at Luoyang National New and High-Tech Industry Development Zone, with a total investment of around CNY15 billion (USD2.3 billion).
LYC hasn't been particularly forthcoming about the cooperation with Gree, but AVIC Jonhon, which makes optronic connectors for the defense, aerospace and aviation fields, announced Dong Mingzhu's trip on social media.
Dong and her delegation visited the New-Energy Vehicle Division to discuss product development, the firm said on WeChat, a social platform run by internet giant Tencent Holdings Ltd. [HKG:0700], adding that the trip was laying foundations for a cooperation deal.