Melrose PLC (LON:MRO) declared a narrow victory in its bitter battle to takeover GKN PLC (LON:GKN) late on Thursday after receiving valid acceptances for its offer representing approximately 52.43% of the FTSE 100-listed engineer’s voting rights.
The FTSE 250-listed turnaround specialist narrowly clinched the deal, having reduced the acceptance condition for its final £8bn cash and shares offer for GKN to 50% plus one share. The group said its offer is now expected to become unconditional by April 19.
GKN shareholders had until lunchtime today to decide on whether to vote in favour of Melrose’s bid or back the engineer’s plan to split itself in two by selling its automotive division, Driveline, to Dana Inc (NYSE:DAN).
On Thursday, Melrose warned GKN investors the engineer’s shares could drop if they vote against its offer. It argued that GKN's shares had risen by £1.8bn since it first approached the company in January.
In a statement, Melrose’s chairman Christopher Miller, said: "We are delighted and grateful to have received support from GKN shareholders for our plan to create a UK industrial powerhouse with a market capitalisation of over £10bnand a tremendous future.”
The chairman added; “We are looking forward to working with GKN's talented workforce and to delivering for customers and all stakeholders. Melrose has made commitments as to investment in R&D, skills and people and we are very excited about putting these into action.”
Earlier today, it was revealed that Goldman Sachs Group Inc had almost halved its stake in GKN, with the US investment bank cutting its stake to 6.4% from 11.8% in a transaction on Monday, GKN said in a stock market announcement on Thursday.