A Canadian security firm has increased its takeover offer for the UK outsourcing group G4S to £3.68bn in a final bid for its larger rival.
GardaWorld said it would pay 235p a share in cash, up 24% from its previous 190p-a-share offer, which would value G4S at £3bn. The Canadian firm has also reached a deal with G4S pension trustees on a £770m funding package for the pension scheme.
After rejecting the offer made in September, G4S said it was looking at the higher bid with its financial and legal advisers, and urged shareholders to take no action.
It added that it also remained in talks with another suitor, Allied Universal, after it rejected a £3.25bn approach last month. Allied has until 9 December to make a formal offer.
Shares in G4S rose 7.5% to 246p on Wednesday .
GardaWorld’s chief executive and founder, Stéphan 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.”
“G4S needs an owner-operator that understands the people-orientated nature of the sector with the resources, time and expertise to solve the many challenges faced by the business.”
G4S investors now have until 16 December to decide whether they want to accept GardaWorld’s final offer.
Last month, G4S said it would start paying a dividend again and claimed the group could reach revenue growth of between 4% and 6% a year if it remained independent.
But the firm reported a £91m loss for 2019 after it was forced to write down the value of its cash handling business. It has also announced plans to cut more than 1,000 jobs to reduce costs.
Michael Hewson, chief market analyst at CMC Markets, said: “G4S management have been pushing back for some time against GardaWorld.