Mar 30, 2018

Can the UK government block the GKN-Melrose deal?

Greg Clark, Britain's business secretary, has been accused by the Daily Mail of being the dull man who "Keeps selling Britain down the river" by refusing to block the sale of UK companies to foreign bidders or alleged asset strippers. What can the government do to influence a takeover bid? Mr Clark sought and was given assurances by Melrose that GKN would continue as a UK business, persist with specific R&D programmes and not sell its defence-related businesses in the short term. What powers does the government have to block a takeover? Under the 2002 Enterprise Act, the government can intervene in strictly defined circumstances where a takeover is deemed to jeopardise media plurality, national security or financial stability.

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