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Entire GKN board resigns following £8.1 billion Melrose takeover

By James Pugh | Telford | Business | Published:

The entire board of GKN have resigned following Melrose Industries' £8.1 billion takeover being made unconditional.

The GKN site in Telford

The resignations include chief executive Anne Stevens and chief financial officer Joss Sclater who spoke out publicly against the takeover since it was first revealed in January.

Christopher Miller, David Roper, Simon Peckham, Geoffrey Martin, Jonathon Crawford and Garry Barnes have now been appointed to the board until GKN stops trading on the London Stock Exchange at or around May 21.

Birmingham-headquartered Melrose has also confirmed it will provide an update of GKN's trading on Tuesday for the 13-week period from January 1 to March 31.

The update will be followed by a review of the company's performance to be given with Melrose's half-year results in early September.

GKN has a site in Telford where it employs almost 400 people, as well as other factories in the Midlands with around 1,000 workers.

The offer by Melrose was declared unconditional as all outstanding conditions to its takeover offer for GKN have now been satisfied or waived, Melrose confirmed.

Melrose chairman Christopher Miller said: "Today sees the formation of a new manufacturing powerhouse, headquartered in the UK and with diverse operations around the world.

"Each of these operations has enormous potential and under Melrose ownership we know we can help them fulfil that potential.

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"Every time we have acquired a company, we have found talented and dedicated people at all levels of the business who have been enthusiastic about change.

"This will be the case at GKN: The knowledge and vision of the GKN teams will find full focus under Melrose and together we will transform the prospects of the business as Melrose has done with all our previous acquisitions.

In-depth review

"We have begun our in-depth review and this has confirmed our expectations about the size and scale of the opportunity to create lasting value for shareholders and all stakeholders as we drive the businesses to their full potential.

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"Investment in R&D, skills, new products and new technology will be at the heart of our programme.

"As we have said throughout, Melrose manages and operates its businesses as if we were going to own them forever, and we will continue to do so.

"We will be speaking to customers and suppliers about how we can improve our service to them and drive long term programmes to their satisfaction.

"We are pleased to make binding commitments to the UK and other governments around the world about our commitment to GKN and to national security.

"We look forward to working closely with those governments as a responsible supplier and corporate citizen.

"We would also like to thank GKN for its cooperation over the last three weeks to ensure an efficient transition."

The resignations from the GKN board include Michael Turner, Phil Swash, Angus Cockburn, Tufan Erginbilgic, Shonaid Jemmett-Page and Richard Parry-Jones.

Outgoing GKN chairman Turner said: "The board of GKN thanks shareholders for their support over the course of the bid, but we now strongly advise those who have not yet tendered their shares into the Melrose offer to do so."

It comes as Gavin Williamson, the defence secretary, has signalled to his colleague Greg Clark, the business secretary, that he does not think the takeover deal should be referred to the Competition and Markets Authority.

Instead, Mr Clark and Mr Williamson are expected to seek additional guarantees from Melrose on the company’s future defence work, before a formal decision to approve the deal is given, probably next week.

James Pugh

By James Pugh
@JamesP_Star

Shropshire Star Business and Farming Editor.

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