Canadian group gunning to buy G4S asks to meet ministers

The Canadian group gunning to buy G4S for £3billion has asked to meet ministers in an effort to win their support for the deal. 

GardaWorld has written to Business Secretary Alok Sharma requesting a meeting to discuss the hostile takeover and underlining it has a ‘long-term’ commitment to doing business in the UK. 

The company’s talks with the Government would likely include the possibility of making binding pledges to protect British jobs at G4S, which is one of the biggest private sector employers and a major public contractor. G4S’s work during Covid has included running security at NHS Nightingale hospitals. 

Driving force: GardaWorld's talks with the Government would likely include the possibility of making binding pledges to protect British jobs at G4S

Driving force: GardaWorld's talks with the Government would likely include the possibility of making binding pledges to protect British jobs at G4S

Driving force: GardaWorld’s talks with the Government would likely include the possibility of making binding pledges to protect British jobs at G4S

GardaWorld launched its 190p-per-share bid last week. It was immediately rebuffed by G4S, which insists it is not enough. Several of G4S’s biggest shareholders have also said the price is too low, though they have left the door open to a higher offer. 

G4S released the latest in a string of updates about its finances yesterday. It said revenues had fallen by around 2 per cent in the first eight months of the year compared with 2019 and that the drop had been ‘more than offset’ by controlling costs. 

By one measure of profits, it is now ahead of where it was last year, the company added. 

But shares fell by more than 3.9 per cent despite the update and were last night sitting at 186p, below GardaWorld’s offer price. 

GardaWorld said: ‘This is a management team that has simply run out of ideas. Covid has generally been positive for businesses like this and yet they use it as a fig leaf to disguise their own failings.’

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