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Melrose declares narrow victory in bitter battle to takeover GKN with acceptances of 52.43%

The FTSE 250-listed turnaround specialist clinched the deal, having set the acceptance condition for its final £8bn cash and shares offer for GKN at 50% plus one share

Fighter jets
Melrose said its offer is now expected to become unconditional by April 19

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.

READ: GKN shares could sink if investors turn down hostile takeover bid, Melrose warns

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).

GKN and Melrose had been battling it out in almost daily statements against each other to persuade investors in their favour in the run-up to the deal deadline.

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.

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