G4S board agrees £3.8bn takeover deal by US firm Allied Universal


US company Allied Universal has won a bidding war for UK security giant G4S, with directors agreeing a takeover deal worth £3.8 billion.

The deal will create a “global leader in security” with more than 750,000 employees and follows a tussle between Allied and Canada’s GardaWorld.

Directors for G4S said they were “unanimously recommending” the 245p per share offer to shareholders.

The offer trumped the latest from GardaWorld at 235p a share for G4S under its final cash offer – itself up 24% from its previous 190p-a-share bid, which valued G4S at £3 billion.

Allied’s approach started at “at least” 210p per share, while G4S closed at 255p on Tuesday, up 3.2%.

Following the move by Allied, GardaWorld issued a statement on Wednesday saying it was withdrawing its position that its 235p offer was “final”.

It said: “GardaWorld is considering its options and a further announcement will be made when appropriate. G4S shareholders are strongly advised to take no action at this time.”

But G4S gave the announcement short shrift, saying it “does not change the board of G4S’s intention” to unanimously back the Allied Universal bid.

Ashley Almanza, chief executive of G4S, said: “The combination of G4S and Allied Universal creates the global leader in security with over 750,000 employees, industry leading capabilities and unrivalled market coverage.

“This unique and compelling combination will offer customers exceptional service and provides employees with an exciting future.”

Steve Jones, president and chief executive of Allied Universal, said: “We are delighted that our offer of 245 pence per share has been recommended by the G4S Board.

“Our businesses know each other well, we share a similar culture and values and I am excited about what the combination of Allied Universal and G4S can deliver.

“G4S has an excellent service offering, an enviable global customer portfolio and it is led by a highly experienced management team.”