Shares in security giant G4S (GFS) slumped 10% to 243p after suitor GardaWorld said it wouldn’t change its previously increased offer of 235p in cash, leaving America’s Allied Universal in pole position to buy the business with its higher offer of 245p in cash.

GardaWorld has snubbed the auction process recently ordered by the Takeover Panel, a rare intervention designed to resolve a two-way bidding battle for manned security, video surveillance and secure cash delivery specialist G4S.

Allied Universal has told the Takeover Panel it won’t be raising its latest offer of 245p, so the auction for G4S has been called off.

GARDAWORLD STANDS FIRM

Canada’s GardaWorld, the world’s largest privately owned security services and cash services company, has decided to ‘stay firm’ with its previously announced increased offer, which is ‘final and will not be revised’.

Founder and chief executive Stephan Crétier insisted: ‘There can be no better owner for G4S than GardaWorld, but we are disciplined buyers and we will not overpay for a company with systemic ESG issues that continue to come to light.’

Crétier said his charge has the ‘skills, expertise and ambition to take on the challenges’ facing G4S.

Yet he also explained that successfully integrating a company with 530,000 employees operating in 85 countries will require ‘sizeable resources’.

Addressing G4S’ issues will also require ‘greater investment and without satisfactory engagement from G4S we have been unable to complete our due diligence. In light of the above, we have concluded that priced above 235 pence per share, there are better and less risky opportunities available to GardaWorld.’

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Issue Date: 22 Feb 2021