Engineering group GKN plc has put its powder-metallurgy business up for sale in the first wave of a restructuring program, aimed at improving its revenues and financial performance. The group also is combating a hostile takeover attempt by Melrose Industries plc, a takeover specialist.
GKN designs and manufactures engineered aerospace and automotive parts, including forgings, and last fall it reorganized several of its activities into a new business unit for additive manufacturing. The group currently has four business units: GKN Additive, GKN Aerospace, GKN Driveline, and GKN Powder Metallurgy. The last of these will be sold off within 18 months, according to the new management strategy outlined recently.
Also set to be for sale under the new strategy will be GKN Driveline’s Wheels, Cylinder Liners and Off-Highway Powertrain businesses. The group plans to continue developing its GKN Aero Additive Manufacturing, Driveline China, and eDrive Systems business.
The reorganization plan was put in place by a management team installed in January and led by CEO Anne Stevens. “The new strategy brings clarity, accountability and focus to GKN’s world class businesses and will allow the Group to attain world class financial performance,” she stated in presenting the restructuring.
More specifically, the new management team committed to increase group profit margins and to pay an average of 50% of its free cash flow in dividends over the coming three years.
GKN Powder Metallurgy consists of GKN Sinter Metals and Hoeganaes, and has activities in conventional powder metallurgy, metal injection molding, porous metal filters, for automotive, automation, energy, medical components, and consumer products markets.
GKN explained that the three components of its new management approach will be to deliver distinct strategies for different product segments via more scrupulous capital allocation and focused performance targets; to establish a culture based on greater accountability, capability and pace, supported by aligned incentives; and to separate businesses operationally now, and formally once that decision maximizes shareholder value.
The “operational” separation of GKN Aerospace and Driveline are already underway.