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G4S receives improved takeover offer from suitor GardaWorld

standard– G4S’s Canadian suitor has heaped pressure on the UK security company by significantly upping its takeover bid to £3.7 billion.

The proposal at 235p a share is a 24% hike on GardaWorld’s previous offer of 190p a share, which had failed to win support from G4S shareholders or its board.

The latest price is also above the 229p at which G4S shares closed last night. Garda pointed out that the FTSE 250-listed stock had been trading at 102p in June and 146p in September.

Garda, which is now looking for shareholder acceptances of 50% plus one G4S share rather than 90% previously, also disclosed an agreement with the G4S’s UK pension trustee on a £770 million support package.

Founder and chief executive Stephan Crétier said: “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.”

He said it was time for G4S to get back to its entrepreneurial roots and promised a programme of growth and investment that “G4S so desperately needs”.

G4S chief executive Ashley Almanza previously called the 190p a share bid from Garda World highly opportunistic and said it failed to take into account the potential benefits of its ongoing turnaround strategy.

The company employs about 500,000 people and has also been the subject of interest from US-based Allied Universal.

G4S has a troubled history, having famously failed to supply enough security guards for the London Olympics and being the subject of an SFO investigation for overcharging the government for the electronic tagging of prisoners, some of whom had died.

Garda, which is owned by BC Partners, said shareholders had until 1pm on December 16 to accept its final offer.

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