GKN rejects takeover from Melrose, to split in two

14 Enero, 2018, 02:04 | Author: Arnold Perez
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Reuters reported that GKN rejected an unsolicited offer from manufacturing investor company Melrose and has set out plans to split its business in two (aerospace and automotive) as it recovers from a turbulent period that has included a profit warning.

Among other shares to rise on Friday, packaging and paper company Mondi was up 1.6 percent rise after a rating upgrade from Investec. Melrose said separately that it remains interested in a buyout.

GKN said in a statement that having considered the proposal with its financial advisers, it has unanimously rejected the offer, describing it as "opportunistic" and stating that it undervalues the company and its prospects.

GKN's board dismissed the offer from Melrose in a unanimous decision. Compounding the upheaval, the United Kingdom decision to leave the European Union has clouded the outlook for the country's autoparts manufacturers due to their reliance on open trade.

GKN said on Friday it had now appointed Anne Stevens to run the group on a permanent basis after she took up the role of interim CEO in November.

It said both businesses would benefit from being separate companies with distinct investment profiles and capital allocation policies.

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GKN said current trading was in line with expectations, with 2017 profits expected to be slightly ahead of the 2016 figure of £678m before the U.S. write-off.

Stevens declares herself "confident that we can deliver more for our shareholders while improving what we do for our customers and supporting our employees". But Melrose shares have subsequently climbed 7%, lifting the value of the offer to 422p a share. The cash portion of the bid would be financed by debt. Those calls became louder after a profit warning in October, which was sparked by the difficulties at its aerospace business.

GKN confirmed its position as a major supplier of jetliner wing, tail and fuselage components with the purchase of an Airbus plant in Filton, England, in 2008.

The aviation arm was further bolstered by the purchase of Volvo AB's aircraft engine unit for nearly $1 billion in 2012 and the acquisition of Fokker Technologies Group in 2015, making it the world No. 2 in aerostructures behind Wichita, Kansas-based Spirit AeroSystems Holdings Inc.

Prospective bidder Melrose is a turnaround specialist, picking up floundering firms on the cheap with the intention of improving them and selling them off at a higher price.

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