Unless you are a GKN employee, probably not. But the Melrose victory signals a warning for complacent management. The Guardian reports:
On day one of Melrose’s bid for GKN in January, everybody in the City knew one thing. GKN, a 259-year old company that made cannonballs for Waterloo and Spitfires in the second world war, was doomed if its management mounted a defence based on its recent financial record.
GKN had disappointed its shareholders too often and three months previously had confessed to discovering a pile of overvalued stock in its US aerospace division. Credibility was low and GKN was up against a takeover specialist with a big City fanclub and a keen sense of when to pounce. As Melrose’s chairman, Christopher “Jock” Miller, volunteered, his firm had been watching GKN for years. The bidder was ready for action; the target wasn’t.
Miller and his two Melrose co-founders, who shared a £120m bonus pot last year from the proceeds of past deals, could wave a financial CV with an eye-catching boast: a pound invested in their company at launch in 2003 is now worth £18. The firm’s turnaround techniques have been condemned by the Unite union and some MPs as ugly asset-stripping – a charge Melrose fiercely rejects – but City fund managers have largely ignored that debate, as GKN knew they would.I was a GKN shareholder but sold out (at a handsome profit) when Melrose made its initial bid. I remain a Melrose shareholder.
I don't know what should be the moral of this tale ...