Law firms set to scoop £9m in fees from GKN-Melrose deal as union boss criticises 'astronomical sums'

Slaughter and May and Simpson Thacher & Bartlett are set to share £9m in fees for Melrose’s proposed £7bn hostile takeover of engineering business GKN.

A bid document published by Melrose estimated the legal fees for the transaction at £9m.

Slaughters is advising GKN with a team led by M&A head Roland Turnill, while Simpson is acting for turnaround specialist Melrose, with London M&A partners Adam Signy and Ben Spiers leading its team.

Melrose has estimated the total fees and expenses for the transaction at between £22m and £139.5m.

Financing arrangements are estimated at between £6m and £69m, financial and corporate broking fees are estimated at up to £50.5m, accounting advice at £2m, public relations advice at between £1m and £5m, other professional services at £1m and other costs and expenses at £3m.

GKN has rejected Melrose’s offer of 418.3 pence per share, with chief executive Anne Stevens’ branding it “derisory”.

Unions have criticised the scale of fees for the bid. Steve Turner, assistant general secretary for Britain and Ireland’s trade union Unite, said: “The astronomical sums of money that could be pocketed by bankers, financiers and Melrose bosses from the ‘debt-fuelled’ takeover of GKN would have the Gordon Gekkos of the 1980s licking their lips.”

Speaking in parliament yesterday (7 February), Prime Minister Theresa May said the government was examining the merits of the bid as opposition MPs urged the government to step in and block the bid.

May said: “Of course, the business department will be looking closely at, and has been following closely, the issue.

“I, and the government as a whole, will always act in the UK national interest.”