GardaWorld extends G4S bid deadline after ‘derisory’ response

Shareholders have an extra three weeks to consider a £3bn offer for G4S after less than 1pc back hostile bid

GardaWorld has extended its hostile bid for G4S after only 0.16pc of the British security firm's investors accepted the Canadian group's £3bn offer ahead of its deadline on Saturday.

Shareholders in the FTSE 250 business now have an extra three weeks to consider the 190p-a-share approach from GardaWorld, after the deadline was pushed from Nov 7 to Nov 28.

G4S has consistently labelled GardaWorld's offer “wholly inadequate”, saying it fails to reflect the company’s value, since its suitor went public with its approach in September.

Management doubled down on the criticism following the extension, saying “an acceptance level of 0.16pc 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, which is backed by European buyout firm BC Partners, said it holds a further 1.55pc of its target’s shares. 

Stephan Crétier, founder of GardaWorld said: “We are extending our offer for G4S because, despite its past problems and uncertain future, we believe we can turn the business around.

“We can give G4S shareholders the certainty of cash today, not jam tomorrow.

“We believe G4S is misrepresenting its prospects under the current management team. It is time they tell shareholders and employees the truth.” 

Mr Crétier’s words were just the latest assault on G4S. He has accused his target’s management of making strategic mistakes, selling divisions for less than they worth, and claimed G4S’s pension liabilities are bigger than stated and that it faces potentially costly future legal actions. G4S has dismssed all the claims.

Last week G4S said it had also rebuffed a rival offer from US Allied Universal Security Services. It said the 210p conditional offer “significantly undervalued G4S and its prospects”.

Shares in G4S had been trading at about 140p prior to the first approach, but jumped after the approaches. They closed on Friday at 213p, suggesting traders believe GardaWorld will have to raise its offer to seal a deal. 

The three biggest investors in G4S who between then control a quarter of the security company’s shares have knocked back GardaWorld’s approach as being too low.

However, Schroders, which has about a 10pc stake, along with US investors Harris Associates and Sachem Head Capital, have signalled that they would be willing to consider improved offers.