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GKN sale leaves workers with uncertain future

No immediate changes expected

April 6, 2018
Amy H. Peterson - Staff Writer ( , Estherville News

After fending off a hostile takeover by Melrose Industries, Plc, the shareholders of GKN narrowly approved the sale (52 percent of shares) of the company late last week.

The British corporation GKN Plc is the parent company of GKN Armstrong Wheels based in Estherville and Armstrong. The local division is a manufacturer of hubs, spindles and wheels for offhighway vehicles.

The company lost a two-month battle to remain independent after shareholders opted for the $11.2 billion offer from Melrose. The win by Melrose has become the largest hostile takeover struggle between companies in the UK in a decade, according to Bloomberg Markets.

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Melrose is a company with a reputation for coming in to turn around under-performing companies, according to Global Capital.

GKN's roots in Britain go back 259 years.

GKN in North America has faced challenges. The company said in December it will write off up to $182 million in inventory and unpaid bills at its North American plants.

Officials at Melrose said employees may not see anything change in the immediate future, but declined to communicate specific plans for any plant, including those in Estherville and Armstrong.



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