Canada's GardaWorld extends G4S £3bn bid deadline by three weeks

Suban Abdulla
·3 min read
UKRAINE - 2019/03/09:  In this photo illustration, the G4S plc company logo seen displayed on a smartphone. (Photo Illustration by Igor Golovniov/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images)
The FTSE 250 firm has called GardaWorld’s approach “highly opportunistic” adding it doesn’t reflect G4S’s values. Photo: Igor Golovniov/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

GardaWorld, the Canadian firm which is attempting a takeover of British security firm, G4S (GFS.L) has extended its hostile proposal deadline, after it was repeatedly rejected.

Shareholders in G4S now have three weeks to consider the 190p-a-share offer after the deadline was pushed from 7 November to 28 November.

The FTSE 250 (^FTMC) firm has called GardaWorld’s approach “unattractive and opportunistic” adding it doesn’t reflect G4S’s values.

“We are extending our offer for G4S because, despite its past problems and uncertain future, we believe we can turn the business around,” GardaWorld’s chief executive, Stephan Cretier said.

Responding to the extension, G4S said: “An acceptance level of 0.16% is consistent with the derisory level of GardaWorld’s offer.

“It is not surprising that GardaWorld have therefore been forced to extend their offer period.”

GardaWorld said, it currently holds about 1.55% of G4S’s issued share capital and received acceptances of about 0.16%.

READ MORE: G4S asks investors to reject 'opportunistic' GardaWorld takeover

In September, GardaWorld — in which private equity firm BC Partners owns a 51% stake — went over the heads of the G4S board accusing the firm’s directors of refusing to engage after they dismissed the £3bn ($4bn) offer.

Subsequently, the Canadian firm turned to G4S’s shareholders putting the 190p offer directly to them.

G4S also accused GardaWorld of needing its balance sheet to finance the acquisition, which would value the business at a little under £3bn.

Last week, the British firm also rejected a £3.25bn takeover bid from US rival Allied Universal Security Services, saying that the highly conditional offer of 210p per share “significantly undervalues” the firm.

It said last Wednesday it “received a highly conditional indicative offer from Allied, subject to substantial due diligence requirements, at a price of ‘at least 210p per share’.”

“The board carefully considered this proposal with appropriate advice from the company’s financial and legal advisers and rejected it on the basis that the highly conditional offer, at 210p per share, significantly undervalues G4S and its prospects,” G4S added.

The security firm has about 530,000 employees across 85 countries, providing guarding to embassies, prisons and justice services, sports stadiums and music events.

If it’s sold, G4S will join other UK public companies which have been taken private. Cobham was acquired for £4bn by US firm Advent International in January 2020 and satellite company Inmarsat agreed a $6bn offer by a group led by Apax (APAX.L) and Warburg Pincus last year.

In July, the firm announced that it could axe up to 1,150 jobs at its UK cash business after the coronavirus lockdown saw an increased shift to digital demand. It had already sold most of its US cash operations to Brinks in February 2020.

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