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GKN rejects £7bn takeover bid from Melrose

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Shares in GKN, one of the UK’s biggest engineering firms, have soared after it rejected a bid that values the company at £7bn.

Melrose Industries made the unsolicited offer of 405p a share on 8 January.

Shares in GKN – which employs 56,000 people globally and had sales of more than £9bn last year – jumped almost 25% to 415p, giving it a £7.1bn valuation.

The GKN board said the offer was “entirely opportunistic” and “fundamentally” undervalued the firm.

Melrose shares also rose sharply, adding 11% to 239p.

GKN also said on Friday that Anne Stevens, its interim chief executive, would remain in the role permanently.

Kevin Cummings had originally been due to take up the role on 1 January, but in November the company announced it was looking for “alternative leadership”.

The decision followed a further £130m writedown in GKN’s aerospace division, which Mr Cummings had been running.

“Operational challenges” at its North America-based aerospace business were one factor behind a profit warning in October.

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