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Melrose goes hostile after GKN

Staff Writer |
Melrose raised the pressure on GKN by turning hostile in its pursuit of the British engineering company, making a firm 7.4 billion pound ($10.2 billion) offer for the business after meeting its shareholders.

The 430.1 pence-per-share bid was swiftly rejected by GKN on Wednesday on the grounds that the terms of the paper-and-cash offer are “effectively unchanged” from a first, unsolicited approach made by Melrose in private on Jan. 8, which GKN also spurned.

The engineer made Melrose’s initial bid public on January 12, when it also outlined an alternative plan to break itself in two by separating its aerospace and automotive parts divisions.

“We believe GKN’s current owners should retain all the benefits of the clear upside potential in GKN, rather than handing almost half of this upside to Melrose and its shareholders,” newly appointed GKN Chief Executive Anne Stevens said on Wednesday.

“We have already stated that the terms of Melrose’s offer fundamentally undervalue the company and we are actively engaging with shareholders to explain how our transformation plan will provide value.”

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