"If Melrose's bid is successful it will blow a hole in the government's hope of developing a coherent industrial strategy and signal that government ministers are happy to see yet another British company fall prey to vulture capital".
Shares in Smiths Group (LON:SMIN) rose 4.3% as the engineering firm said that the reforms to United States corporate income tax would benefit the company over the medium term.
"The proposal would materially dilute the exposure of [our] shareholders to the meaningful upside opportunities that the board believes are present within the company", says GKN. Those calls became louder after a profit warning in October, which was sparked by the difficulties at its aerospace business. The biggest factory, in St Louis in Missouri, makes air frames for F-15 and F/A-18 fighter jets.
Meantime, GKN believes that value for its shareholders will be "maximised" by its separation of its aerospace and automotive divisions in order to set "distinct strategic, operational and financial objectives for the [two] businesses, with clear focus, accountability and better-aligned incentive plans".
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It also named former Ford executive Anne Stevens as chief executive, a role she has held on an interim basis since January 1st.
Within Friday's announcement, GKN alluded that fourth quarter trading was "in line with expectations" and said it still expects the full year's profit before tax to be "slightly ahead" of last year's figure of £678m.
Nicholas Hyett, equity analyst at Hargreaves Lansdown, said: "The separation of the automotive and aerospace units has been on the cards for years, with little obvious crossover between the two businesses".
Whether today's news will affect the Isle of Wight division is not yet known. "What it hasn't done is generate enough cash from those market positions", one person familiar with the company said.
Simpson Thacher is representing manufacturing turnaround specialist Melrose, with London M&A partners Adam Signy and Ben Spiers leading its team. It is now valued at more than £4bn, having returned £4.4bn to shareholders since its formation.