• Asset sales bring down company's debt
• £729m being returned to shareholders
Melrose Industries (MRO), a company that specialises in turning around struggling engineering businesses, took on its biggest challenge with the £8.1bn purchase of UK engineering group GKN in 2018. It was forced to give certain assurances to gain approval in the face of hostility from unions and then had to contend with a pandemic that hit GKN’s two main business lines hard. The aerospace division lost £410m in 2020 as revenue fell 27 per cent, while its automotive arm declared a statutory loss of £183m as sales dropped by 19 per cent.