Garda makes US$3.8B hostile takeover bid for U.K.'s G4S
GardaWorld made a near 3 billion-pound (US$3.8 billion) hostile takeover offer for rival G4S Plc after failing to convince management of the U.K. security-services company to come to the negotiating table.
The Canadian group will now seek meetings with investors to discuss the 190 pence-a-share proposal, and criticized G4S’s board for having “behaved in a cavalier way” by rejecting an earlier approach.
“G4S is a deeply troubled business which needs a committed owner-operator team that understands the sector and has a definitive and comprehensive plan,” Garda Chief Executive Officer Stephan Cretier said in a statement on Wednesday. “Stakeholders can take no confidence in the promises of a senior management team that has been in place for seven years and has not delivered.”
G4S shares extended gains and traded 4.3 per cent higher at 197.20 pence as of 12:21 p.m. in London.
The firm offer is at the same level as earlier proposals, which G4S shareholder Harris Associates has said were too low. New York-based Sachem Head Capital Management also values the British firm at more than 190 pence a share, people familiar with the matter said earlier this month, though the investor would consider backing a sale at a higher price, they said.
A combination of Garda and G4S would create a global security firm with more than 600,000 employees -- with about half a million coming from the latter company. The two firms provide guards to everything from airports to prisons and have operations around the world.