Dec 2 (Reuters) - Canada's GardaWorld has raised its offer
for security group G4S to 3.68 billion pounds ($4.94
billion), it said on Wednesday, stepping up a hostile bid for
the British company that has repeatedly rejected its advances.
GardaWorld increased its offer for G4S, one of the world's
largest private security companies, to 235 pence per share from
G4S shares rose 7.5% to 246.1 pence in early trade, above
the new offer price. The shares have risen 57% since GardaWorld
made its offer for G4S public on Sept. 14.
G4S said it was currently evaluating the revised offer along
with its financial and legal advisers, adding that shareholders
were strongly advised to take no action.
The London-listed firm has called GardaWorld's earlier
offer, which valued G4S at about 3 billion pounds, "highly
G4S also turned down last month what it termed a "highly
conditional" offer from U.S. company Allied Universal at a price
of 210 pence per share.
On Wednesday, it said it was still in talks with Allied
Universal and that any firm offer from the U.S. firm would be
required to be announced by Dec. 9.
GardaWorld had extended an offer deadline twice before
raising its bid on Wednesday. It had received valid acceptances
of a total of 2.8 million G4S shares, or 0.17%, as of Nov. 28.
The Canadian group, in which private equity group BC
Partners took a majority stake last year, has been building up
its business through a series of acquisitions.
With a new deadline of Dec. 16, GardaWorld said it had
reduced the acceptance condition from 90% to 50% plus one G4S
G4S has restructured its business following a series of
setbacks. It sold most of its cash-handling business in February
this year for 727 million pounds to U.S. peer Brinks Co, but
held on to its UK operations, which have attached pension
Employing more than 500,000 across 90 countries, G4S
provides security guards for prisons and other public buildings,
as well as company offices.
($1 = 0.7454 pounds)
(Reporting by Yadarisa Shabong in Bengaluru; Editing by Keith
Weir, Shounak Dasgupta, Kirsten Donovan)