Shares in G4S have surged after Canadian security firm Garda World Security confirmed it is considering a takeover of the British firm.
Garda said that it is in the preliminary stages of considering an approach to the board of G4S regarding a possible cash offer for all or part of the company.
G4S shares jumped over 24% to 230p following the news.
Based on its market cap, G4S is worth more than £3 billion.
Garda describes itself as the “world’s largest privately owned security company”. Founded in 1995, it now has over 60,000 workers and operates across the world.
G4S, which gained notoriety for bungling a contract to provide security at the London Olympics in 2012, has been trying to turn itself around under boss Ashley Almanza.
But in March, the firm posted a 63% drop in annual profits as it was forced to stomach higher costs related to settlement of a lawsuit and a charge for pension equalisation regulation.
It came after the company warned last November that revenue would be lower than forecast and that earnings were not expected to grow in 2018.
G4S made a pre-tax profit of £143 million in 2018 compared with £387 million the previous year.
The figures included a £100 million provision for settlement of a class action lawsuit in California related to labour conditions, and a £35 million charge for equalising benefits for historical pension obligations between men and women in the UK.