GKN share price: Government weighs in amid Melrose takeover battle

Theresa May promises government will “act in the UK national interest”

GKN share price: Government weighs in amid Melrose takeover battle

Theresa May has promised that the government will “act in the UK national interest” amid Melrose Industries’ (LON:MRO) hostile bid for GKN (LON:GKN). The news comes as the FTSE 100 aerospace and automotive group looks to fend off the turnaround specialist takeover offer.

GKN’s share price rose in the previous session, adding 1.18 percent to close at 411.70p. The shares marginally underperformed the broader market rally which saw the benchmark FTSE 100 index climb 138.02 points to end the session 1.93 percent higher at 7,279.42, recovering some of the ground lost during this week’s global equities selloff. The group’s shares have added just under 20 percent to their value over the past year, as compared with a 1.3-percent rise in the Footsie.

Government could act

The Times reported this morning that responding to a request from Jack Dromey, Labour MP for Birmingham Erdington, in parliament yesterday to “block the unwanted takeover” of GKN, Theresa May had said that “the business department will be looking closely and have been following closely the issue that he has raised”.

“And I can assure him that I and the government will always act in the UK national interest,” the prime minister pointed out.

Unite worries

Theresa May’s comments came as trade union Unite met Greg Clark, the business secretary. The Times quoted Tony Burke, Unite’s assistant general secretary for manufacturing, as arguing that the deal should be blocked by Mr Clark “in the public interest” and warned that if it went ahead it could damage the government’s industrial strategy.

David Roper, executive vice-chairman of Melrose, meanwhile noted that Unite’s concerns were “unfounded,” the newspaper reports.

The news came after it recently emerged that Canadian buyout firm Onex was reportedly interested in GKN’s aerospace division.

As of 07:49 GMT, Thursday, 08 February, GKN plc share price is 411.70p.

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