The Canadian security firm mounting a hostile takeover bid for British rival G4S renewed its attack on the board, as it began its charm offensive with shareholders.
Security firm Garda World, which is backed by private equity giant BC Partners, said unforced errors by bosses have helped wipe £1billion off the company’s valuation.
It questioned if G4S had enough cash to pay for litigation that was ‘potentially crippling’.
Security firm Garda World, which is backed by private equity giant BC Partners, questioned if G4S had enough cash to pay for litigation that was ‘potentially crippling’
G4S hit back, branding the suitor’s comment as ‘nothing more than scare-mongering’.
It announced a ten-year contract to run Five Wells prison in Wellingborough, Northamptonshire, which it said shows it had won back the Government’s trust.
The deal to run the 1,680 category C prison will bring in £300million over the lifetime of the contract.
The latest salvo comes as Garda sets out its stall for a hostile takeover of G4S at 190p per share, valuing it at just under £3billion.
The bid has been repeatedly rejected by G4S management recently, and key shareholders including fund manager Schroders are holding out for more.
Shares have bounced back above 200p since the takeover battle emerged, but they were trading at around 330p in June 2017 – meaning many investors are still nursing heavy paper losses.
Around a quarter of shareholders have publicly opposed the offer, and last week Garda was criticised for telling investors they needed ‘educating’ about G4S.
G4S has been at the heart of several controversies, including its failure to deliver the security contract for the London Olympics, leading to the British Army being brought in.
The firm’s £2.7billion pension liability should be ‘a serious concern’ for shareholders, according to Garda, but G4S said it does not have a pension issue, as the fund also holds £2.4billion of assets.