Garda moves forward with hostile takeover bid for G4S

Oct. 6, 2020
Company appeals directly to shareholders with its $3.8B offer

Tired of trying to persuade the board of G4S to engage in acquisition talks, GardaWorld has decided to make an open play to buy the company as it announced a cash offer last week worth nearly £3 billion ($3.8 billion).

The deal is unchanged from the one it previously made privately to G4S’ leadership which is for 190 pence ($2.44) per share.  In a statement announcing the offer, GardaWorld said that G4S has a history of “overpromising and underdelivering” and has “consistently failed its stakeholders” over the past decade.

“G4S is a deeply troubled business which needs a committed owner-operator team that understands the sector and has a definitive and comprehensive plan,” said Stephan Crétier, Founder, Chairman, President and CEO of GardaWorld. “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 for shareholders, customers, employees or the public.   

“The G4S Board has behaved in a cavalier way by rejecting our potential offer out of hand,” he continued. “We look forward to meeting with investors to explain the challenges ahead and why this is a full and fair price for an asset which faces turbulent times and difficult operating conditions.”

For its part, G4S responded by advising its shareholders to take no action related to offer, which it called “unattractive” and “opportunistic.”

“The unsolicited 190p offer launched today by GardaWorld is unchanged from the proposal that has already been carefully considered and unanimously rejected by the G4S Board as significantly undervaluing the company and its prospects,” G4S Chairman John Connolly said in a statement. “Since rejecting GardaWorld’s last proposal, G4S has announced continuing resilience in its trading with underlying earnings ahead of the prior year for the first eight months of 2020.”