Canadian buyout firm Onex is believed to be eyeing GKN’s (LON:GKN) aerospace division, The Sunday Times has reported. The news comes as the blue-chip aerospace group looks to fend off a hostile takeover by Melrose Industries (LON:MRO).
GKN’s share price has fallen deep into the red in London this morning, having given up 0.91 percent to 411.50p as of 09:23 GMT. The decline is largely in line with a selloff in the broader UK market, with the benchmark FTSE 100 index having given up 1.06 percent to 7,364.63 points.
Onex execs meet with GKN
The Sunday Times reported yesterday that Onex executives were understood to have met management at GKN last week. The Canadian buyout firm, which owns the holidays parks business Parkdean, is believed to be eyeing the blue-chip group’s aerospace division, which makes kit for planes including Airbus’s A380 superjumbo.
Onex previously owned GKN’s rival Spirit AeroSystems, formed from divisions of the American giant Boeing in 2005. The newspaper notes that Spirit, now an independent listed company based in Texas, is also believed to be interested in GKN’s aerospace subsidiary.
The news comes as GKN tries to fend off a hostile takeover by Melrose, which recently turned to the group’s shareholders after its offer was rejected by the board. The Telegraph meanwhile reported over the weekend that the FTSE 100 group’s chances of fending off the approach were dealt a blow amid concern among major aerospace customers about the company’s track record of delivering on large contracts.
“There’s a view that GKN’s management lack the strength to keep things on track,” one UK aerospace insider told the newspaper. “On the other side, Melrose have a bloody good track record for tight management.”