Business Secretary Greg Clark has waved through the sale of one Britain’s oldest engineering firms to a controversial investment group.
Mr Clarke dismissed claims of a “predatory” takeover as he confirmed the sale of GKN to Melrose Industries in the House of Commons.
Labour had called for the sale to be blocked on national security grounds, as the company provides many Ministry of Defence contracts, but this was rejected.
Explaining the decision Mr Clark told MPs of the numerous assurances given by Melrose as part of the £8.1 billion takeover deal.
He said: “The MoD has completed its detailed analysis and has agreed with Melrose a series of undertakings specifically to ensure that the Government is informed in advance of any plans to divest a business, a component of the business or assets which engage in activities that the Ministry of Defence considers to have national security implications.”
Mr Clark said the Government had been given “suitable protections” from any subsequent sale of the business and had been given assurances over the continuation of contractual obligations “to protect intellectual property and classified information”.
He added: “Melrose have also agreed to meet with me and my officials every six months to provide updates on their ownership of GKN.
“On the basis of the commitments given relating to national security, the Ministry of Defence concluded that statutory intervention is not required.”
Shadow business secretary Rebecca Long-Bailey told ministers the assurances were “not sufficient to guarantee security of the long-term prospects” of the company or the workforce.
GKN is headquartered in Redditch.