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Melrose Industries PLC is a UK-based investment company specializing in acquiring underperforming manufacturing businesses, improving their operations and financial performance, and selling them for a profit. 

In this article, we’ll look at the company’s business model, the current Melrose share price, the stock’s performance so far in 2023, and what investors should know about the company’s plans, risks, and growth potential in the future.


What Does Melrose Industries Do?

Melrose focuses on company acquisition, improving them, and selling them off later for a higher valuation. The company has expertise across various industrial sectors like automotive, construction, aerospace, and general manufacturing. Melrose invests in operational improvements, new equipment, increased efficiency, and enhanced competitiveness to boost the profitability of its acquired subsidiaries.

Melrose’s current main businesses after acquiring GKN PLC - a global engineering and manufacturing company, are as follows:

GKN automotive - Manufactures driveline technologies for the automotive and motor vehicle industry, including all-wheel drive systems and electric powertrains.

GKN powder metallurgy: Produces powdered metal components used across the automotive and industrial sectors.

Acquiring industrial businesses offering turnaround potential, Melrose aims to increase their financial value before selling them at a profit. This model then provides strong returns for Melrose shareholders through share price growth and dividends funded by the sale proceeds.


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Is Melrose Industries Publicly Traded?

Melrose Industries PLC trades on the London Stock Exchange (LSE) under the MRO ticker.

The company has been publicly listed since 2003 when Melrose held its IPO (Initial Public Offering) on the LSE to raise funds for future acquisitions. The IPO offered shares to institutional and retail investors. As a publicly listed firm, Melrose must publish regular financial statements, disclose major company news and acquisitions to shareholders, and hold Annual General Meetings open to all shareholders.


Who are the Shareholders of Melrose Industries?


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According to the latest substantial shareholder filings, several major investment funds hold significant stakes in Melrose Industries as of 2023, led by:

Capital Research & Management Co. (World Investors): Currently the largest shareholder in Melrose with an 8.93% ownership stake equaling over 119 million shares. As one of the world’s largest investment managers running American Funds, Capital Group is a widely followed institutional investor.

Capital International Ltd.: A subsidiary investment manager of Capital Group also holds 8.68% of Melrose stock, representing over 116 million shares currently. 

Norges Bank Investment Management: The investment unit of Norway’s central bank monitors Melrose as one of the largest European equity investors. Norges holds 4.47% or nearly 60 million shares.

The Vanguard Group: A leading passive fund manager, Vanguard has accumulated a stake of just over 3.4%, highlighting Melrose as a stock commonly featured in UK benchmark tracker funds.

In addition to these four largest investors, fund managers like BlackRock, T. Rowe Price, and Permian Investment Partners maintain mid-tier ownership stakes between 1.9% and 2.8% each. Permian is an active UK investment firm founded by former executives from dealers Cazenove and JPMorgan.

With multiple respected fund managers among the most prominent investors, nearly 30% of Melrose stock is held by large institutional shareholders focused on shareholder returns through dividends and valuation growth.


Melrose Share Price Over the Year


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The company share price has generally been on an upward trajectory over the past year, with some fluctuations. Specifically, the Melrose share price rose steadily from 298.98p in December 2022 to 370.11p in March 2023. This represents a 23.7% price increase over the first three months.

In April 2023, there was a stock split, after which the Melrose share price opened at 409.00p. From there, the Melrose share price peaked at 568.00p in December 2023. This represents a steep 38.9% rise from the post-split price over the next eight months.

However, there were some pullbacks along the way. After hitting a high of 506.20p in June 2023, the Melrose share price dipped to 469.20p in September 2023. This 14.3% drop has marked a temporary correction before resuming its upward climb.

Overall, an investor who purchased Melrose shares a year ago and held until now would look at total returns of over 90% even when accounting for the fluctuations. The company has strong price momentum, likely driven by positive business performance and investor sentiment. However, some periods of volatility and pullbacks are to be expected.

You might also like to read: How to sell shares online - A Tutorial for beginners


Insights for Shareholders and Investors Ahead

These factors and risks must be considered when evaluating the Melrose share price shortly. 

  • The company plans to optimize its GKN subsidiaries over the following years and the potential value that could be realized from eventual disposals. Successfully spinning off GKN business units later at higher valuations is critical to Melrose’s model.
  • However, weakened demand forecasts in the automotive market due to the global economic uncertainty could weigh on GKN Automotive’s revenues. If macroeconomic conditions decline, melrose may have to contend with a bumpier road than initially expected when acquiring GKN in 2018.
  • Rising inflation and interest rates also threaten operating margins, though Melrose’s exposure to fastener and powder metallurgy businesses could prove more resilient than other industrial names.
  • Geopolitical risks from the tragic Russia-Ukraine conflict continue to fuel uncertainty in European markets in the near term.

So shareholders should closely monitor management’s guidance on achieving strong operational margins from Melrose’s reinvigorated subsidiaries amidst this challenging backdrop.


In Summary

Melrose Industries has had a strong run over the past year. The company’s business model of acquiring undervalued manufacturing businesses, improving their operations, and selling them at a profit has recently generated impressive shareholder returns.

However, investors should be aware that economic headwinds persist, including risks from inflation, rising interest rates, and geopolitical tensions. These could challenge maintaining solid margins and growth at Melrose’s subsidiaries. While management aims to optimize its acquired businesses, traders should continue evaluating the latest financial results, market conditions, and management guidance when considering the current Melrose share price and potential investment upside or risks.

Don’t rely solely on positive momentum over the past year. Evaluate Melrose’s fundamentals and strategy to market benchmarks to make more informed decisions. 

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“When considering “CFD” for trading and price predictions, remember that trading CFDs involves a significant degree of risk and could result in capital loss. Past performance is not indicative of any future results. This information is provided for informative purposes only and should not be construed to be investment advice.”

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