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Hostile bid for GKN escalates

19 January 2018

British defence and engineering company GKN’s rejection of a takeover bid by corporate turnaround specialists Melrose resulted in a week of antagonistic statements between the two companies, with Melrose defending itself on 18 January against accusations of an inaccurate presentation of its offer.

Melrose, whose initial approach to GKN was revealed in a statement released by the company on 12 January, announced a firm acquisition offer on 17 January valuing the company at around GBP7.4 billion (USD10.3 billion), despite its initial offer being unanimously rejected by the GKN board, which described it as “entirely opportunistic”.

In a rejection of this second offer issued the same day, GKN chief executive officer Anne Stevens said, “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.

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