Shares in security firm G4S have surged by a quarter after a Canadian rival went public with a takeover bid worth almost £3bn.
<p>Canada's GardaWorld, which eventually walked away from talks over a similar offer for GFS last year, accused the company's board of refusing "meaningful discussions" following three separate approaches.</p><p>It said it wanted to force engagement.</p><p>G4S - a much larger company based on annual revenue - was yet to comment.</p><p>GardaWorld, the world's largest privately-owned security firm, has annual sales above £1.5bn compared to £7bn for its listed peer in the UK while it employs 72,000 staff.</p><p>G4S has more than 500,000 workers.</p><p>The Montreal-based firm said its offer of 190p per share, valuing G4S at £2.96bn, represented a 30% premium to the London-based firm's share price on Friday.</p><p>It accused the board of failing "its shareholders, employees, customers and the public for at least a decade" but said that it believed value could be returned.</p><p>GardaWorld's founder and CEO, Stephan Cretier, said: "G4S needs an owner, not a manager. GardaWorld has 25 years of experience in the sector and we know how to improve and repurpose this business.</p> <p>"As owner-operators, we believe that the combined business's operations will offer a better future for all those who depend on G4S.</p><p>"We will turn G4S around, ensuring it delivers for its customers, its people and the public.</p><p>"The combination of GardaWorld and G4S is an important part of our strategy to create the world's leading security services business. If successful, our commitment to the UK will be for the long-term."</p><p>News of the hostile approach was welcomed by investors with shares rising 25% to 182p.</p><p>Market experts said the offer reflected attraction in London stocks, which are yet to recover pre-coronavirus values and the relatively weak value of the pound.</p><p>Neil Wilson, chief market analyst at Markets.com, said: "Since the pandemic G4S's valuation has made it more appealing, whilst revenues of about £7bn annually remain far ahead of GW.</p><p>"This will be the tiddler swallowing the whale."</p>