International security giant G4S have today received a hostile £3bn takeover offer from a rival Canadian firm. Despite this news, shares in G4S rose by a quarter in early trading.
Montreal-based GardaWorld (GW), walked away from similar talks with G4S last year, and has today accused the G4S board of actively proceeding with the acquisition.
Therefore, GW has today said they will force engagement with G4S – however, G4S believes the bid undervalues the business, assets and standing within the industry.
Its statement said: “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. Furthermore the company’s financial performance following the outbreak of COVID-19 has been particularly resilient, as outlined in the company’s interim results for the six months ended June 30.”
GW, the world’s largest privately-owned security firm, has annual revenues of £1.5bn and employs 72,000 staff.
However, GW is dwarfed by the size of G4S, which has more than 500,000 employees across the world and revenues in excess of £7bn.
GW’s Founder and CEO, Stephan Cretier, said: “G4S needs an owner, not a manager. GardaWorld has 25 years of experience in the sector and we know how to improve and repurpose this business. As owner-operators, we believe that the combined business’s operations will offer a better future for all those who depend on G4S. We will turn G4S around, ensuring it delivers for its customers, its people and the public. The combination of GardaWorld and G4S is an important part of our strategy to create the world’s leading security services business. If successful, our commitment to the UK will be for the long-term.”