Tag Archive | "deals"

GKN MELROSE: POLITICAL REACTION TO HOSTILE TAKEOVER

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GKN MELROSE: POLITICAL REACTION TO HOSTILE TAKEOVER


Melrose Industries has narrowly won its hostile takeover bid for GKN.

Following a ten-week battle that saw a war of words from GKN management as well as a number of alternative deals on the table, including a proposal from car parts maker Dana, the shareholders decided by a margin of 52 percent to sell to Melrose.

Despite assurances from Melrose, fears that the new buyer will simply wage a campaign of asset stripping as the takeover promises £8bn to be returned to shareholders, which will inevitably involve selling off parts of the business. Apart from car parts, GKN produces aviation components and has a number of defence contracts, leading to some speculation in the mainstream press that the deal might be stopped on national security grounds.

Business Secretary Greg Clark sought assurances from Melrose, saying that no company was ‘immune’ from takeover. Critics were keen to point out that such ‘assurances’ mean little in law, as was demonstrated when Kraft went back on promises made to Cadbury in 2009.

However, Defence Secretary Gavin Williams appears not to share Clark’s lasse-fare opinion, as he is reported as having ‘serious concerns’ about such a deal.

Former Defence Secretary [and owner of Haymarket Group] Lord Heseltine is quoted in the FT as saying that ‘no other country of our sort’ would allow the deal to go through.

Labour’s Jeremy Corbyn has said that the deal ‘must be stopped’ and that it does not make any sense ‘to put the interests of city speculators over the national interest’.

On completion of the deal, the Head Office in Reddich is tipped to be the first part of the operation to close.

 

 

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DANA MAKES BID FOR GKN

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DANA MAKES BID FOR GKN


U.S-based car parts maker Dana has made a bid for embattled engineering giant GKN.

A report in the FT says that Dana will offer $6bn for the drivetrain division and will consider opening a secondary listing on the London stock exchange.

GKN’s drivetrain business combined with Dana’s existing contracts would give shareholders 47 percent of the world’s biggest drive system supplier with annual sales of $14bn according to the paper.

Jim Kamsickas, Chief Exec of Dana was clear that the combination of the two firm’s strengths in road vehicle engineering was undisputable. “It would be impossible to poke a hole in this industrially” he said.

The new bid is in addition to the hostile offer to shareholders from Melrose Industries, previously reported on. The board of GKN has rejected the bid, but shareholders are currently considering it.

However, the Melrose bit is neither popular with the management, nor some key clients. Tom Williams, CEO of Airbus has been quoted as saying that it would be ‘impossible’ to work with the engineering company under a short-term business model.

“The industry does not lend itself to shorter term financial investment which naturally reduces R&D, budgets and limits vital innovation,” he told the Reuters news agency.

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MESSE FRANKFURT ACQUIRES FOREST EXHIBITIONS

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MESSE FRANKFURT ACQUIRES FOREST EXHIBITIONS


Event organiser Messe Frankfurt has acquired Forest Exhibitions to create Messe Frankfurt UK. Terms of the deal have not been disclosed.

Sherwood was the licence holder for Automechanika Birmingham, while Messe Frankfurt is the parent company.

Simon Albert, Event Director of Automechanika Birmingham will take the role of Managing Director of the new UK subsidiary replacing Rob Sherwood.

A note from Olivia Brockwell, Operations Executive at Messe Frankfurt UK, to exhibitors at the show read: “There will be no operational, commercial or legal impact on your relationship with Forest Exhibitions”.

“The event team remain unchanged, and we are full steam ahead with this year’s event”.

The show organiser will remain in the same

 

 

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DIGRAPH TO OPEN 16 NEW SITES

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DIGRAPH TO OPEN 16 NEW SITES


CV factor Digraph is set to open 16 new branches in the next six months as part of a growth strategy described as ‘aggressive’. This will be in addition to several acquisitions of similar businesses and expansion of existing branches.

The move follows significant investment in the company by Euro Car Parts as well as Sukhpal Singh Ahluwalia and James Rawson. The expansion could create and create 164 jobs.

The new outlets are in various locations across the UK, stretching from Glasgow to Crawley. At this point it is unconfirmed if the new locations will be from LKQ’s existing portfolio, newly acquired sites, or a mix of the two.

The strategy doesn’t seem to phase the management team.  Sukhpal Singh Ahluwalia commented: “Locations, stock and logistics are relatively straightforward – indeed we once opened 12 Euro Car Parts branches in a single day. Our challenge is to find the right people and partners to join us in delivering our vision of market-leading customer service … nationwide. We are building our new branches around the best team players”.

“We are shaking up the industry in other ways too, with major investment in stock ranges, accelerated delivery speeds and added-value programmes, as we continue to build the UK’s most powerful team.”

Branch expansions and upgrades are happening in Gloucester, Northampton, Nuneaton and Stoke. The Northwich branch is relocating to larger premises in Ellesmere Port which will greatly increase stock holding and give improved deliveries to the customer base.

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GKN FIGHTS ‘OPPORTUNISTIC’ HOSTILE TAKEOVER BID

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GKN FIGHTS ‘OPPORTUNISTIC’ HOSTILE TAKEOVER BID


UK engineering company GKN is under threat from a hostile takeover from investment house Melrose Industries.  

Melrose  has made an unsolicited offer to shareholders to  acquire the entire issued share capital of GKN for 1.49 new Melrose shares and 81 pence in cash per share.

Melrose is known for turning engineering companies around and under the strapline ‘buy, sell, improve, sell’ it attempts to add value to the brands it acquires before selling them on, in a similar vein to a private equity. It’s website states it “finances acquisitions using a low level of leverage, improves the businesses by a mixture of investment and changed management focus, sells them and returns the proceeds to shareholders”.

However, the management of GKN do not want to sell to Melrose. In a letter to shareholders GKN Chairman Mike Turner blasts the approach as ‘entirely opportunistic’ and ‘low price and high risk’ before barbing: “Your board believes that Melrose is more focused on financial engineering than real engineering”.

“GKN is six times the size of Melrose’s largest acquisition and your Board believes that Melrose’s management team lacks relevant experience at Board level in several critical areas” wrote Turner, adding that he doen’t believe that Melrose has the necessary relationships with VMs and aircraft makers to make a success of the business. “Cars and aircraft are researched, designed, produced and serviced over several decades – your Board believes that a short term, private equity-style strategy is not the right way to provide sustained shareholder value in our sectors” he said.

GKN said in an earlier letter to shareholders that it would sell non-core assets and return £2.5bn to shareholders in response to the offer. 

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FEATURE: HAYNES’ LONG ROAD TO A DIGITAL FUTURE

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FEATURE: HAYNES’ LONG ROAD TO A DIGITAL FUTURE


Speaking to CAT after the Haynes shareholders AGM, J Haynes has admitted that selling digital manuals through bricks-and-mortar accessory shops is a difficult concept for retailers.

“I’m not quite sure they do [understand how to sell the cards] quite yet. One of the elements that we’re putting together is card that retailers can sell in the store, which contains a code that the customer can redeem for a digital manual” he said, adding that while many customers will continue to want paper books, a growing number will prefer the info on their phone, tablet or laptop. “What we want to do is to get the information into as many drivers’ hands as possible” he explained.

 

Haynes is a firm that has grappled with the method and need to modernise. “I think Eddie [Bell, Group Chairman] outlined at the AGM that we are still a business in turnaround” he said, adding that the publisher continues to have ‘a clear focus on content and data’.

In December 2016, Haynes disposed of publishing and printing buildings in Australia, and more recently sold one of its two decommissioned US freehold properties in Nashville. The Group’s remaining freehold properties in Nashville, Tennessee and Sparkford, Somerset, are presently being marketed for sale. The cash generated from the sales will offset the costs associated with acquiring Swindon-based lubricant data firm OATS, for which it paid a total of £2.4m and Tunbridge-based E3 Technical in a deal valued at £4.72m.

There will be more on Haynes’ strategy in an upcoming issue of CAT.

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LIQUI MOLY ACQUIRED BY WÜRTH GROUP

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LIQUI MOLY ACQUIRED BY WÜRTH GROUP


A deal has been struck by German lube producer Würth Group to acquire Liqui Moly.

Würth Group has owned shares in the Ulm-based company for some years. Now, Managing Partner Ernst Prost has agreed to sell his controlling share in the company, effective January 1s subject to the usual regulatory approvals.  

Following the sale, Würth has said that Liqui Moly will continue to operate as an autonomous company with an independent brand in the Group. Prost will remain with Liqui Moly as joint MD, sharing the role with the firm’s long-standing Head of Sales, Günter Hiermaier.

Liqui Moly has sponsored Team Engstler for years

Peter Zürn, Deputy Chairman of the Central Managing Board of the Würth Group said: “We are proud that this successful and established brand, which is known for its outstanding reputation and great dynamics, will enrich the portfolio of the Würth Group. Our objective is the sustained successful development of Liqui Moly in the future. This is why we will continue to put our faith in the entrepreneurial expertise of Ernst Prost, just as we have done in the past 20 years as a silent partner at Liqui Moly”.

From Prost’s perspective it will be business as usual: “Those who know me know that my employees are my focus,” he said. “After all, it would be foolish to change anything about the road to success over the past few years. Everything will continue just as before – just under a bigger roof that offers greater protection.

In fiscal year 2016, Liqui Moly generated sales of approximately EUR 500 million with 800 employees.

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AAG ACQUIRE FAST PARTS WALES AND MORE

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AAG ACQUIRE FAST PARTS WALES AND MORE


Newport-based factor chain Fast Parts Wales and Peterborough-based Hereward Car and Truck Components are among a list of businesses acquired by Alliance Automotive Group in the last quarter.

Fast Parts Wales is a three branch light vehicle factor business based in South Wales with depots in Abercarn, Cwmbran & Tredegar.  The business was started around 25 years ago by the Travis family and the deal also includes the FastRads cooling system business based in Abercarn. The annual sales are around £9m and prior to the acquisition the business was a member of AAG’s GROUPAUTO buying group.

Hereward Car and Truck Components is another family run business, started in 1983 by the Saddington family. The two-branch factor was a member of the IFA buying group prior to the acquisition by AAG. Annual sales have been around £2.8m.

Single branch factors Macclesfield Motor Factors, DMFX (Darlington) and GD Components (Anglesey) have also been acquired by AAG.

There’s more info in the January issue of CAT Magazine.

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BREAKING: THE PARTS ALLIANCE ACQUIRES BBC SUPERFACTORS

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BREAKING: THE PARTS ALLIANCE ACQUIRES BBC SUPERFACTORS


Business group The Parts Alliance has acquired long-term affiliate member BBC Superfactors.

The seven-branch chain was established thirty years ago by Gary Shulman and Peter Rostron and initially covered the Blackburn, Bury and Chorley areas, hence the name.

“Combining the dedication of our loyal staff team with the expertise of The Parts Alliance has proved to be a winning formula for us over several years,” said MD Gary Shulman.  “We’re excited to now strengthen this relationship to ensure our business continues to thrive long into the future.”

“Since joining The Parts Alliance in December 2012, BBC have posted consistent double-digit annual sales growth and have invested to achieve industry-leading service levels. We are very pleased to welcome our BBC colleagues in the team,” stated Peter Sephton, President and CEO, European Automotive Group.

File pic of team at Blackburn branch

“This acquisition strengthens our position in the UK market and underlines The Part Alliance’s capability of driving growth both organically and through acquisitions,” added Henry Buckley, President and CEO of the PA’s Canadian parent company, Uni-Select.

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ECP SIGNS DEAL WITH CLICKMECHANIC

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ECP SIGNS DEAL WITH CLICKMECHANIC


Factor giant Euro Car Parts has signed a supply agreement with online aggregator ClickMechanic.

The deal means that the aggregator’s client base of mobile technicians and independent garages can take advantage of the pricing of a national account.

Andrew Jervis, Co-Founder of ClickMechanic, said: “We are truly excited to offer the benefits of this agreement to our mechanics and, in turn, grow their businesses. Supporting the UK’s mechanics is a core fundamental of ClickMechanic, and working with Euro Car Parts will deliver better value for money, service offering and parts accuracy for our members.”

Martin Gray, CEO of Euro Car Parts, said: “We are committed to delivering an outstanding range and service to all workshops throughout the UK and working with ClickMechanic is another step in that direction.”

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