GKN should be no pushover as Melrose bid turns hostile | Nils Pratley

Automotive and aerospace firm’s trustees may demand a big pay-off and it might not even need the remedy its suitor offers

You cannot blame Melrose Industries for firing off its £7bn hostile offer for GKN, the UK’s last big automotive and aerospace combo, after less than a week of informal exchanges. The bidder has had the better of the warm-up action, so best to kick off early.

Melrose’s shares had floated upwards, generating momentum behind a 430p a share offer where only 81p is in actual cash. But look at how the target’s shares have been electrified. GKN investors, if they wish, can now sell in the market at an all-time high of 448p, versus 320p at the start of the year.

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