Home » News and Views » Ian Pollard – Will bullying Melrose #MRO shareholders win the day?

Ian Pollard – Will bullying Melrose #MRO shareholders win the day?

Melrose MRO Today the gloves are off as Melrose goes to war in its attempts to persuade GKN shareholders to abandon its company. If ever an example was needed as to how the City is no longer a place for gentlemen, Melrose provides it with a hectoring, bullying diatribe threatening GKN shareholders with the terrible financial consequences of their own folly if they are stupid enough to reject Melrose’s offer.There is only one problem and it is a problem which Melrose has created for itself. Its attitude and language is so extreme that it makes it appear that this is its last desperate throw of the dice after which its ammunition is exhausted.

Thus Melrose’s final offensive, attacks GKN’s “hastily assembled and ill considered proposals”, threatens GKN shareholders that “unless they accept our offer” there will be dire consequences and compares GKN rebuttal with what they laughingly call their own “measured approach”. In fact there is nothing measured about today’s response.  Its warnings read like the last gambit of a contestant which is running scared and knows it has already lost the battle. Rarely in the world of takeovers has a company made such a disastrous tactical error. It deliberately chose to turn itself into the beast to be feared, a wolf without any sheeps clothing. People who are threatened and treated as stupid, tend to rebel. Melrose has only itself to blame if it is rebuffed.

Finsbury Foods FIF claims that half year results to the 30th December were robust and is increasing its interim dividend by 10% to 1.1p per share. Like for like revenue rose by 2.5% and profit before tax by 6.3% as the group showed resilience in the face of a sustained period of “market wide headwinds” which it says, will persist into the future.

Weatherly International WTI announces that it may have come to the end of a long and difficult road. It renegotiated its loans from Orion on the 31st August, 30th October and 31st December and it is now faced with repayments of $20m. by the 31st March. It admits that it is unlikely to generate sufficient surplus cash to be able to meet the repayment and its continued existence as a going concern will not be possible without Orion’s continued support, of which there is no certainty.

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