Canada’s GardaWorld tables formal £3bn bid for G4S

Security giant GardaWorld has tabled a formal bid of nearly £3 billion for its British rival G4S.

The Canadian company said it would pay 190p per share in G4S, valuing the business at £2.97 billion.

It has approached shareholders in the company directly, rather than negotiating with G4S’s board, after an indicative offer was rejected earlier this month.

In a message published on the market and intended for shareholders, GardaWorld accused G4S’s management of failing stakeholders for a decade.

It said the board’s views on G4S’s prospects are “inconsistent with the facts”.

“G4S has a long history of overpromising and underdelivering. Over the last seven years, despite spending hundreds of millions of pounds in restructuring programmes and sizeably increasing its technology-related revenues since 2015, G4S’s margins have not improved,” GardaWorld said.

It added: “Over the same period, even after adjusting for dividends, G4S senior management has destroyed nearly £1 billion of shareholder value.”

GardaWorld first said it was planning a bid for G4S earlier this month.

Since the announcement, the company’s share price has shot up, and after a 4% rise on Wednesday it was trading at 197.3p – over 7p more than the bid.

However, GardaWorld’s offer is still 30% higher than G4S’s share price on September 11 before the bid was made public.

It promised to provide “experienced, professional management to G4S” and help it overcome challenges.

G4S did not immediately respond, however earlier in the month its board unanimously rejected the indicative offer.

“The board believes that the timing of the proposal is highly opportunistic, coming as it does at a time of severe turbulence in global financial markets,” it said at the time.

GardaWorld chief executive Stephan Cretier said: “The G4S board has behaved in a cavalier way by rejecting our potential offer out of hand.

“We look forward to meeting with investors to explain the challenges ahead and why this is a full and fair price for an asset which faces turbulent times and difficult operating conditions.”