Melrose ‘not an appropriate owner’
Just days after GKN rejected Melrose’s £8.1bn ‘final offer’, the engineering giant’s largest customer Airbus has now warned that it would be “practically impossible” to give new business to GKN if it was bought by the turnaround specialist.
Casting further doubt on Melrose’s takeover bid, the Airbus chief operating officer Tom Williams warned: “The nature of our industry is one that requires a commitment to long-term investment and strategic vision. The industry does not lend itself to shorter term financial investment which naturally reduces R&D budgets and limits vital innovation.
“It would be practically impossible for us to give any new work to GKN under such ownership model when we don’t know who will be the long-term investor.”
GKN chairman Mike Turner said: “The comments from Airbus that stress the need for long-term investment and strategic vision in our industry emphasise our firmly held belief that Melrose is not an appropriate owner of GKN.
Taking a swing at Melrose’s management, Turner further said they lacked “the relevant experience and its short-term business model is inappropriate for GKN’s customers and investors”.
Meanwhile, Melrose has scheduled a meeting with Airbus to make its case in two weeks’ time.