Liberal Democrat leader Vince Cable has spoken out against the attempted takeover of British engineer GKN, asking the government to intervene to "ensure this damaging takeover does not happen".
GKN today said it had rejected an "opportunistic" takeover offer by FTSE 250 firm Melrose Industries which valued the company at 405p per share. The move sent shares in GKN up more than 25 per cent, while Melrose's stock was also bumped up more than nine per cent.
Melrose must now make a firm offer for GKN or withdraw its bid by 9 February.
Cable said he would write to Greg Clark, the secretary of state for business, to ask him to intervene to prevent a "massive blow to our industrial strategy".
“GKN is at the heart of the industrial strategy in the car and aerospace industry in the UK," Cable said.
“GKN stands for long term investment in advanced manufacturing whereas Melrose are in the business of short term financial engineering.
The 258-year-old firm employs 58,000 people across 30 countries in aerospace and automotive engineering.