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G4S bosses reiterate call for shareholders to reject GardaWorld bid

August Graham, PA City Reporter
·2-min read

The boss of G4S has said that he does not know how a Canadian rival’s £3 billion hostile bid for the company could impact workers, but warned that it was not good for shareholders.

Ashley Almanza said that Canada’s GardaWorld had not revealed the detail of what the company’s plans for G4S would be if its bid is accepted by investors.

“It’s an interesting question because they have been conspicuously scant in setting out their plans, they are supposed to set out their plans for our staff and so on,” he told the PA news agency.

His comments were made as G4S’s board again advised shareholders that they should vote against the 190p per share deal, which they claim is too cheap.

“GardaWorld’s offer significantly undervalues your company – it is nowhere near a full and fair price,” chairman John Connolly said in a letter to shareholders on Thursday.

“The timing of GardaWorld’s proposal is highly opportunistic and significantly undervalues your company.”

Shares in G4S are trading at around 205p, higher than the offer, suggesting that investors think a new higher bid might be coming from GardaWorld or another suitor.

Another company, Allied Universal, has reportedly also expressed interest in buying the firm.

On Thursday, Robert Plant, an analyst at Panmure Gordon, said: “We think Garda could make a higher offer to acquire the company and there is the added possibility of a bid from Allied Universal.”

Mr Almanza declined to say how much GardaWorld, Allied Universal, or another company would have to bid to win the backing of the board, citing strict rules on what companies can say during takeover battles.

He said that the company is “very confident” it can reach new targets revealed on Thursday morning.

“We’ve spent a lot of time, effort and investment in repositioning this company, and it is now a global leader with very strong prospects. Our belief in that is reflected in the upgraded targets that we have published,” he said.

GardaWorld chief executive Stephan Cretier said: “The idea that a management team which has failed to deliver for the last seven years is now asking shareholders to wait another five years for ‘Vision 2025’ defies rational analysis.

“The empty promises and, in G4S’s own words, ‘aspirational targets’ show that this management team has lost track of reality.”