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Redditch MP Rachel Maclean hits out as Melrose snaps up GKN in buyout

Ross Crawford 29th Mar, 2018

SHAREHOLDERS of Redditch-based global automotive and aerospace giant GKN have voted yesterday (Thursday) to accept an £8billion hostile buyout by turnaround specialists Melrose after a long drawn out battle for the company.

The 250 year-old company employs close to 60,000 people with nearly 300 working at the firm’s Ipsley headquarters.

The new was welcomed by Melrose chairman Christopher Miller who spoke of their plans to “create a UK industrial powerhouse with a market capitalisation of over £10 billion and a tremendous future.”

However the news brought a cautionary response from Redditch MP Rachel Maclean who said: “Melrose must now remain true to their word and sign a legal and binding agreement with the Government to make sure they retain GKN’s headquarters in the UK.

“Redditch is GKN’s home and I’m calling on Melrose to maintain their global headquarters in our town.

“I will now be seeking an urgent meeting with the Business Secretary, Greg Clark, to ask him to support my call to get Melrose to keep GKN’s headquarters in Redditch to retain those jobs.”

She added: ” “I understand staff at GKN’s headquarters still remain concerned about the future, that’s why I will remain in contact with Melrose and GKN as this takeover goes ahead to make sure these concerns are heard at the highest levels.

“This British engineering and manufacturing icon has forged strong links with the community here in Redditch and I hope this continues under the new ownership.”

Mayor of the West Midlands, Andy Street called for an early meeting with Melrose to ensure their commitments to the West Midlands are honoured.

“That means protecting current jobs, pensions and future investment in research and development. This will ensure GKN continues to be a long-term success story in the region,” he said.

One of GKN’s biggest clients, Airbus, has publicly stated itt would find it difficult to give GKN new work if it was part of the Melrose group due to its short term strategy and reputation for off-loading poorly performing firms and selling on profitable elements.

GKN ran into trouble last year when problems with its aerospace section in North America led to a profits warning and a consequent fall in the price of shares.

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