MPs have asked the government whether it will consider using powers to block takeovers for national security reasons to stop a hostile bid for the engineering company GKN, which makes technology used in the F-35 fighter jet.
GKN has rejected as “derisory” a £7bn offer from the turnaround specialist Melrose after it appealed directly to shareholders rather than seeking consent from the company’s management.
Rachel Reeves, the Labour MP who chairs the business, energy and industrial strategy select committee, has written to the business secretary, Greg Clark, to ask whether the government has considered using its powers to block the deal.
The appeal follows an assurance from Theresa May earlier this week that the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) would be “looking closely” at the proposed takeover.
In her letter to Clark, Reeves asked for “more detail about the nature of the discussions you have had with the chief executives of both GKN and Melrose”. “In particular, have you established whether there are sufficient grounds for you to intervene in the public interest on the grounds of national security?” she wrote
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