G4S suitor GardaWorld Security extends deadline for hostile takeover plan

PA

A suitor hoping to buy outsourcing giant G4S in a hostile takeover has extended the deadline for shareholders to agree to the deal.

GardaWorld Security, a Canadian-based rival, said investors can now have up to December 16 to decide if they want to accept its 190p-a-share offer.

The board of G4S has already rejected the £3 billion offer, which was first made in September, claiming it undervalues the business.

GardaWorld revealed that, since turning hostile, it has received valid acceptances from shareholders owning just over 1.7% of G4S.

However, the vast majority of that is a stake owned by GardaWorld’s subsidiary, Fleming Capital Securities, which is fronting the takeover effort and has a 1.55% stake in G4S.

Stephan Cretier, founder and head of GardaWorld, said: “Throughout this process we have not seen a single piece of evidence to suggest that our offer of 190p in cash is anything other than full and fair.”

G4S said it continues to urge shareholders to take no further action.

It said: “GardaWorld has received only 0.17% acceptances (excluding the stake it owns), reflecting the derisory level of the offer.”

Last week, bosses at G4S said they will start paying a dividend again and painted a bright future for the company, claiming it can reach revenue growth of between 4% and 6% a year if it remains independent.

Earlier in November, G4S also rejected a non-binding £3.25 billion bid from another rival, Allied Universal, again claiming it undervalued the business.

Allied must make a formal offer by December 9 if it plans to do so.

But Mr Creitier, of GardaWorld, dismissed G4S’s attempts at reassuring investors.

He said: “Aspirational targets and non-binding promises on dividends do not, in our view, equate to a sound business valuation.

“GardaWorld and BC Partners are disciplined buyers who will not be susceptible to post-pandemic market euphoria.

“Covid-19 was not the cause of the slump in performance at G4S and neither will its hoped-for abatement be the trigger for improved business performance.

“The stark truth is that the existence of our bid has been the primary driver of G4S’s share price since our approach to the board, when it was 102p.”

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