Last Wednesday, 31 January 2018, Melrose PLC launched the largest hostile bid in the UK since Kraft swooped on Cadbury in 2009, with a formal £7bn cash and share offer for the engineering giant GKN.
GKN, which employs more than 300 people at its Hadley Park site, in Telford, has so far resisted Melrose's overtures, and has accused the American industrial turnaround company of trying to buy the group "on the cheap", "just at the point when it is beginning to reap the benefits of its long-term investment".
I am determined to protect jobs and operations at GKN's base in Telford, as well the pensions of its staff, and I am lobbying the Government for assurances across all three areas.
You can read up on the latest developments, and my efforts in relation to this situation, via the below links.
My question to Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, Esther McVey, following the formal launch of Melrose's takeover bid: https://youtu.be/02H0F6TEBz0
Q: The GKN takeover proposal announced last Thursday seeks to pay a £1.4 billion sweetener to shareholders, despite a £2 billion pension deficit. Does the Minister agree that the Government should act to protect the interests of GKN pension fund members?
A: Of course the Government agree that we have to look after the concerns of the GKN workers. Here we have actually seen the trustees of the pension fund coming out, being bold and wanting reassurance from the other company that it can indeed pay for the pension scheme. We can look at the argument from two sides. GKN has to be strong and robust, but also Melrose should voluntarily ask the regulator to look into the implied costs in that benefit scheme to make sure that it can afford to take over the other company.