2 minute read - 20th March 2023
New book: A true story of the industrialist who fought back to protect his manufacturing company
Outcast: Cook versus the City tells the true story of a maverick Yorkshire industrialist who fights back against the City of London and media establishment to protect the manufacturing company founded by his Victorian forefathers from a raiding party backed by powerful financial institutions.
Andrew Cook is the loner who overcomes a childhood blighted by tragedy to transform a failing steel company into a successful defence manufacturer. But his refusal to compromise with the City leaves the business vulnerable to attack.
The hostile takeover bid dominated the national business news at the end of the last Conservative government in 1996-97, a period of social, economic and political change and the dawn of a new era in Britain.
Outcast is written by journalist Bernard Ginns, former business editor of the Yorkshire Post, and brings to life one of the hardest-fought corporate battles of modern times.
In advance praise for Outcast, Celia Walden, US editor-at-large at the Daily Telegraph and a Richard and Judy Book Club author, said: “A great new voice in narrative nonfiction. Tense, taut and beautifully paced. I read it in one sitting.”
Martin Vander Weyer, business editor of The Spectator, said: “Bernard Ginns has written a gripping true-life takeover drama with a complex protagonist, Andrew Cook, at its centre: this is the cut and thrust of business, in and out of the City of London, as it really happens.”
Andy Bounds, EU correspondent at the Financial Times, said: “Outcast takes you inside one of the toughest takeover battles in the merger boom of the late 1990s… It is populated by a fascinating cast of characters from the City and the media.”
Garry Wilson, managing partner of transformational private equity investor Endless LLP, said: “Andrew Cook has a unique approach and is one of the most interesting people in British business… A fascinating story well told by Bernard Ginns. Read and learn.”
Mark Casci, ex-business editor of the Yorkshire Post, said: “This is a hugely enjoyable book… I thoroughly recommend it to anyone with an interest in business, modern history and underdog stories.”
Bernard Ginns wrote Outcast during the pandemic. It is his first book. The authorised account is based on archives, diaries and unpublished memoirs of Sir Andrew Cook CBE, chairman of Sheffield-based William Cook Holdings.