G4S agrees £3.8bn takeover following bidding war – Sky News

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G4S says it has agreed a takeover offer from a smaller US rival following a bidding war.

The London-listed security group, which has 530,000 staff, said it had agreed a 245p-per-share offer from Allied Universal having previously rejected a “highly conditional” earlier bid of 210p.

Another player, which had earlier appealed for support directly from shareholders in a hostile move, had been Canada’s GardaWorld.

G4S security worker
Image: A G4S security worker

It had criticised the company’s performance and pledged to “re-purpose” the business if it won the day. It was yet to concede defeat and later confirmed it had withdrawn a pledge not to raise its offer further as it considered its options.

GardaWorld’s latest bid – which was formally rejected – had valued G4S at just shy of £3.7bn.

Its renewed interest in G4S late in the summer was widely seen as a reflection of the fact that London stocks had yet to recover pre-virus crisis values.

Merger and acquisition statistics released earlier on Tuesday suggested activity was beginning to return – with UK firms set to come under growing bid pressure in the months ahead.

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G4S said it considered the terms of Allied’s latest offer to be fair and reasonable and that it intended to unanimously recommend that shareholders accept it.

The price represented a premium of approximately 68% to the closing price of 146p on 11 September – the start of the offer period, the company said.

It brings together two global security operators which will have a combined workforce of 750,000 people.

Its statement read: “The combination of Allied Universal and G4S will create a world-leading integrated security business with revenues of approximately US$18bn, a strong international platform and an extensive portfolio of blue-chip clients across the public and private sectors.

“Bringing together Allied Universal’s and G4S’s cutting-edge smart technology solutions and manned guarding businesses will create an enlarged group that is able to lead the industry shift towards integrated security services and provide a global one-stop shop for customers.”

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