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G4S receives new GBP3.7bn offer from GardaWorld


G4S PLC (LON:GFS) Canadian suitor GardaWorld has bumped up its cash offer for the UK security group to 235p per share.

The board of G4S issued a statement to say it was evaluating the new offer, together with its financial and legal advisers.

This “final” offer, which is increased from the 190p per share that had previously been offered, values the FTSE 250-listed company at GBP3.7bn.

GardaWorld, which is 51% owned by London-based private equity group BC Partners, has also reduced the percentage of acceptance condition from 90% to 50%-plus-one-share, having received a paltry 1.7% of acceptances from investors for its previous offer.

The bidder said an agreement has also been reached with the G4S UK pension trustee on a GBP770mln “support package” of cash and other measures.

The board of G4S has rejected the previous offer, as well as another from US-based competitor Allied Universal Security Services at a price of “at least 210p” per share, saying both offers undervalue its business.

Stephan Cretier, GardaWorld’s founder, chairman, president and chief executive officer, said in a statement today: “Shareholders have a simple choice: remain invested in a company which has consistently failed them and the wider community for so many years, or realise their investment in cash, at a significant and highly attractive premium.

“Despite the excuses, claims, promises and ‘aspirational targets’ advanced during the course of the bid defence, the stark fact is that G4S is ex-growth and faces serious challenges. The real numbers are completely at odds with the rhetoric.

“G4S has been steadily weakened by a senior management team which has destroyed nearly GBP1bn of value in the last seven years, wasted hundreds of millions on restructuring programmes that do nothing for margins and chased an unsustainable dividend policy fuelled by debt and disposing of assets on the cheap.”

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