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Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 20 June 2018

GKN shareholders accept £8.1bn hostile takeover from Melrose

The UK engineering group has lost its fight to maintain its independence

Melrose, the buyout group founded in 2003, has succeeded in a £8.1 billion hostile takeover of GKN. (Reuters)
Melrose, the buyout group founded in 2003, has succeeded in a £8.1 billion hostile takeover of GKN. (Reuters)

A majority of shareholders in British engineering group GKN have accepted an £8.1 billion (Dhs41.74 billion) takeover offer from investment firm Melrose after a long-running battle.

The UK-based turnaround specialist said on Thursday that 52.4 per cent of GKN's shareholders had accepted its hostile cash-and-shares offer by the time the deadline for a deal expired at 1200 GMT.

That just surpassed the acceptance threshold of 50 per cent plus one share that Melrose had set for the takeover of the aerospace and automotive parts supplier.

It means Melrose has triumphed with Britain's biggest hostile bid since Kraft pounced on confectionery giant Cadbury in 2009.

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GKN, led by chief executive Anne Stevens, had put up a staunch defence that included striking a separate deal to merge its autos division with US firm Dana, a tie-up that was dependent on the failure of the Melrose takeover.

"We are delighted and grateful to have received support from GKN shareholders for our plan to create a UK industrial powerhouse with a market capitalisation of over £10 billion and a tremendous future," said Christopher Miller, Melrose's chairman.

Its offer is now expected to become unconditional by April 19.