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Britain's Melrose raises GKN bid to US$11.2 billion in final offer

Britain's Melrose raises GKN bid to US$11.2 billion in final offer

Just hours after turnaround specialist Melrose increased its hostile bid for GKN to £8.1bn, it has now emerged that the United Kingdom engineering giant has rejected the new bid saying the revised offer "continues to fundamentally undervalue GKN".

GKN shareholders now face a 29 March deadline to accept or reject the new Melrose offer.

In a response to the Melrose offer, GKN struck a £4.4 billion deal to merge business with the U.S. group Dana.

GKN announced the terms of the Driveline deal last week which would see Dana shareholders own 52.75% of the company and GKN the remainder, with the combined company set to be domiciled in the United Kingdom but traded on the New York Stock Exchange.

Melrose has gone directly to shareholders with its offer because, it said, the GKN board continued to refuse any "constructive discussions".

Mr Miller added: "In the interests of decisively resolving the future of GKN, we are pleased to set out the terms of an increased and final offer which would give GKN Shareholders 60% of the Enlarged Group and £1.4bn in cash".

Melrose said the new offer (81 pence plus a 1.69 new Melrose share for each GKN share) won't be increased under any circumstances.

"The board of GKN is now evaluating the revised offer", GKN said in a statement in response. The previous offer made in January was 1.49 new Melrose shares plus 81 pence cash.

Melrose said on Monday that the deal with Dana was "ill-thought-through" and would face regulatory hurdles. However later in the day, GKN said the offer "continues to fundamentally undervalue GKN", and does not reflect its "world class" Aerospace business nor the benefits of combining GKN's Driveline business and Dana Inc, amongst other things.

Melrose is not the right owner of GKN.

The asset management arm of Aviva owns nearly 1.2 percent of GKN and 5.4 percent of Melrose.

Lawmakers were concerned that Melrose could break up the engineer and sell parts to foreign buyers, potentially compromising British and US national security because of GKN's work on defence programmes - the company makes components for the Eurofighter Typhoon combat jet.

"It is our view that it is irresponsible of the GKN Board to proclaim a value maximising strategy whilst overburdening its only remaining business with liabilities of this nature", Miller said.

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