BUSINESS secretary Greg Clark has said the government will assess whether the takeover of engineering giant GKN raises public interest concerns.
The firm, which has a base in Hilsea, is in the middle of a hostile takeover bid.
Shareholders have accepted a bid of £8.1bn from investment firm Melrose Industries.
However, unions are demanding the government to block the deal on the grounds of national security.
Responding, Mr Clark told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme he would not give a view until he had considered all options.
He added: ‘The approach that we have reinforced in our industrial strategy very explicitly is not to have a protectionist approach, not to pick winners as was done in the past and subsidise or protect them, but to ensure that our business environment is one in which there is competition, in which no incumbent is immune from the challenge of being kept efficient and strategically focused.’
GKN employs 6,000 people in the UK and 300 in Hilsea.