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Melrose ups GKN bid to £8.1bn in 'final offer'
15 March 2018, 03:48 | Tara Lloyd
GKN makes parts for the automotive and aerospace industries
Melrose has gone directly to shareholders with its offer because, it said, the GKN board continued to refuse any "constructive discussions".
Melrose said in a letter from its chairman that GKN shareholders can join it on a 'journey of value creation by investing in a United Kingdom listed manufacturing powerhouse worth over £10 billion today and receiving £1.4 billion of cash'.
So, does that change everything?
"Following the (Dana) transaction, GKN shareholders will own 47 percent of a $14 billion revenue global automotive group and will retain ownership of GKN's outstanding remaining businesses", said GKN Chairman Mike Turner.
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Responding to Monday's higher offer, the board of GKN described it "as entirely opportunistic and believes that its terms fundamentally undervalue" the company and its prospects. Melrose has swiftly refocused things on the here and now.
In a letter to GKN shareholders, Melrose chairman Christopher Miller hit out at the takeover target's own efforts to fight off the hostile bid, particularly GKN's recent agreement to merge its automotive business with U.S. firm Dana in a 6.1 billion USA dollar (£4.4 billion) deal.
The engineering group said on Monday it believed it would be worth 503 pence a share given its plans for improving the company.
"It was a little bit better than we thought", he told Reuters. The move came after the blue-chip company agreed a deal last week to merge its automotive division with Dana.
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The engineering firm, which can trace its roots back to 1759, is attractive to buyers because of its involvement with growing aircraft programs such as the A350 and the A320, and in cars, where it has been growing market share and supplies manufacturers including Fiat Chrysler and VW Group.
Melrose is not the right owner of GKN.
Lawmakers were concerned that Melrose could break up the engineer and sell parts to foreign buyers, potentially compromising British and USA national security because of GKN's work on defence programmes - the company makes components for the Eurofighter Typhoon combat jet.
"Shareholders should be aware that Melrose is asking them to accept its acquisition paper at 22x 2017 earnings, in exchange for world class businesses which Melrose's offer only values at 14x 2017 earnings".
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