GardaWorld makes hostile play with US$5.2 billion bid for British security firm G4S
By The Canadian PressNews G4S GardaWorld
MONTREAL — Garda World Security Corp. is making a hostile play for G4S after the British security company spurred its US$5.2 billion offer two weeks ago.
The Montreal-based company appealed directly to G4S shareholders by criticizing the firm’s directors and accusing them of acting in a “cavalier manner” by rejecting several approaches in recent months.
GardaWorld founder, president and CEO Stephane Cretier says that G4S faces profound difficulties and needs an owner and operator that understands the industry and has a well-defined plan.
The reputation of the GS4 has been damaged in recent years, especially for the lack of agents during the 2012 London Olympics to assure security.
Through its subsidiary Fleming Capital Securities, GardaWorld offered 190 pence for each share of the British company. On the London Stock Exchange, G4S shares gained 5.9 per cent at 200.30 pence in Wednesday trading.
GardaWorld unveiled the terms of its proposal on Sept. 14 in an attempt to force the hand of the British company, which has described the move as “highly opportunistic.”
“The unsolicited offer is unchanged from the proposal which had been carefully considered and unanimously rejected by the board of directors, as it significantly undervalues the company and its prospects,” said chairman John Connolly.
G4S has more than 533,000 employees in 85 countries, including more than 9,000 in Canada. Founded more than 25 years ago, GardaWorld employs more than 102,000 people in North America, Africa, Asia and the Middle East.
This report by The Canadian Press was first published Sept. 30, 2020.
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