After three months of hostile biddings, Melrose Industries PLC, a British-based investment company specialized in the acquisition of manufacturing businesses, announced that its offer of US$ 11. billion for UK-based aerospace and automotive components manufacturer GKN has been accepted by the owners of 901,318,533 GKN shares, who altogether account for approximately 52.43% of the company’s voting rights.
In an attempt to avoid the takeover, GKN board had reached a deal to merge its automotive division GKN Driveline with auto parts manufacturer Dana Incorporated in a transaction where GKN shareholders would have got a 47% stake in and US$ 1.8 billion bonus cash from Dana.
Dana acknowledged the decision by a majority of the shareholders of GKN plc. “As a consequence, it appears unlikely that our proposed combination with GKN Driveline will proceed,” said the Ohio-based company in a statement.
"We are, of course, disappointed by today's outcome and continue to believe Dana would be the best owner and operator of GKN Driveline," said James Kamsickas, Dana president and CEO.
However, it is possible that Dana could revive a deal with Melrose in the future, a source close to GKN said to Reuters.
Given that GKN supplies components for military aircraft, the UK government has jurisdiction to intervene and block the hostile takeover on defense and national security grounds, though it seems unlikely since Melrose already made a series of commitments including investment in research and development and maintaining the headquarters in the United Kingdom.
GKN established operations in Mexico with the production of CVJ Systems in Celaya, Guanajuato in 1979. A second site is located in Villagran, Guanajuato which opened in 2006 and both sites have been expanded in recent years.
GKN Aerospace currently has four sites in Mexico manufacturing airframe and engine structures. Two of those facilities are located in Mexicali, one in Chihuahua and another one in San Luis Potosi. GKN currently employs over 2,000 people across these six sites.