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Melrose bid for GKN a threat to US national security – Unite

Unite raises fresh fears about any takeover of GKN by Melrose, warning it could jeopardise the national security of the United States.

The national security of the United States could be threatened if a takeover of defence and engineering giant GKN by Melrose goes ahead, a union is warning.

Unite said Melrose had no experience in dealing with some defence and aerospace contracts and no record of taking part in alliances or joint ventures.

The union has written to the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States and US Defence Secretary General James Mattis to outline its concerns.

Unite’s assistant general secretary Steve Turner said: “Future ownership fears are genuine and should lead to concerns with both prime contractors and governments over the security of defence intellectual property.

“Melrose is a self-declared ‘turnaround company’ focused on short-term shareholder value with the objective of disposing of assets within three-five years of acquisition.

“The proposed offer is based on share value and not industrial strategy, with Melrose levering a healthy GKN balance sheet in order to fund ‘exceptional dividends’ to shareholders.”

Unite is urging the Government to block the hostile takeover bid and has claimed that bankers, lawyers and financiers would pocket £140 million if it goes ahead.

The union has also raised fears the deal could damage the Government’s industrial strategy and national defence interests.

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