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Updated from 2:53 a.m. EDT

After falling out of favor with investors, diversified manufacturer Nortekundefined now has a four-week window to snare a better offer after securing a $2.81 billion bid from U.K. industrial investor Melrose Industries.

The transaction, which has the backing of Nortek investors holding almost 68% of the stock, is the most significant cross-border purchase by a U.K. company since the Brexit vote and offers Melrose diversification out of the British economy as growth stalls. Melrose shares had surged 35% to 551.50 pence by early afternoon on Wednesday, despite plans to finance the purchase through a £1.66 billion ($2.1 billion) rights issue.

Nortek gets 90% of its revenue from North America and cost cuts and greater brand focus allowed it to almost double operating profit to $30.7 million in the first quarter as sales rose 7.2% to $613.9 million. However, its shares have fallen more than 23% in the past year amid a wider industrial-sector malaise and concern about gross profit margins.

Melrose's offer of $86 per share marks a near-38% premium to Nortek's $62.49 closing price on Tuesday and is 81% more than the six-month average. Assuming its bid prevails, Melrose will pay $1.44 billion for the stock, with the enterprise value of the deal $2.81 billion, 10 times Nortek's historic Ebitda. The terms of the deal with Melrose provide for a "go shop" period until Aug. 6.

"We are very pleased to have reached the proposed agreement with Melrose Industries, which represents a significant premium for our shareholders," said Nortek President and CEO Michael J. Clarke in a statement. "We believe this partnership with Melrose will enhance Nortek's ability to further leverage its industry-leading brands and market positions to continue driving profitable growth. We believe this transaction will be a positive for our employees and customers alike."

Melrose is led by Chairman Christopher Miller, the company's founder. Classified as a reverse takeover because of the size of the target, the transaction will need the backing of a majority of Melrose shareholders in two related votes, and 75% of votes cast in a third at a specially convened meeting on July 25. On Nortek's side, a simple majority of stockholders must tender their shares. Melrose will get a $50 million breakup fee if Nortek ends up going with another bidder.  United Technologies (UTX) - Get n.a. Report was reported to have held abortive talks with Nortek last year.

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Melrose is turning westward as growth slows in the U.K. Quarterly growth is expected to have contracted to 0.2% in the second quarter, Markit Economics Ltd. said on Tuesday, from 0.4% in January through March. The U.K.'s decision to leave the European Union could shave 0.8 of a percentage point off 2017 GDP growth, according to a National Institute of Economic and Social Research forecast.

Nortek, of Providence, R.I., makes ventilation, security, home automation, ergonomic and other products under brands including Frigidaire and Governair . It had revenue of $2.63 billion last year, and operating profit of $220.1 million.

Melrose said it would offer 12 new shares at 95 pence for each existing Melrose share, to raise £1.61 billion after expenses. It also plans to take on $780 million of new debt.

It said institutional shareholders it has spoken to "have all been very supportive of the acquisition."

Melrose had been looking for a major acquisition since it arranged to sell its Elster metering business to Honeywell International for £3.3 billion, and to return £2.4 billion of the proceeds to shareholders. Its only other portfolio company at present is Brush Turbogenerators, which derives 57% of revenue from Europe.

Melrose's business is the buying and selling of industrial companies. On Tuesday, the shares closed down 2% at 409.75 pence, giving the company a market value of £595 million. At that point the stock had risen 65% in the past year.

Nortek closed up 4% at $62.49 on Tuesday.

Nortek shareholders backing the transaction include Ares Management, Anchorage Advisor Management and Gates Capital Management.