Editor, IFSEC Global

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James Moore is the Editor of IFSEC Global, the leading online publication for security and fire news in the industry. James writes, commissions, edits and produces content for IFSEC Global, including articles, breaking news stories and exclusive industry reports. He liaises and speaks with leading industry figures, vendors and associations to ensure security and fire professionals remain abreast of all the latest developments in the sector.
March 16, 2021

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Contact tracing and COVID-19 director’s briefing

Acquisitions

G4S set for takeover by American firm, Allied Universal

Shareholders from UK security group, G4S, approved a £3.8bn takeover by rival American firm, Allied Universal, on Tuesday 16th March.

The news comes after months of bidding wars between Allied Universal and its Canadian rival, GardaWorld. The latter turned down the chance to increase the £3.8bn bid, stating that it believed while there were no better owners for G4s, the company was a “disciplined buyer” and would not overpay for a company that continued to face environmental, social and governance scandals.

Allied confirmed it had won the backing of investors for the offer, which equates to 245p per share. The acquisition is the latest in a string of takeovers, having also completed the purchase of San Francisco-based Security Integration, earlier in March.

While most of G4S’ work is in the corporate sector, the company has received heavy criticism in recent years, in particular for its handling of the HMP Birmingham (prison), where it saw the Ministry of Justice step in to strip its contract.

G4S employs more than 558,000 people across the world, providing security solutions including manned security services and security systems, consulting services, cash solutions, integrated facilities services and more.

Once the takeover has been completed, the deal will remove G4S from the London stock market, creating a “global security giant”, with over 750,000 staff in 80 countries and the “largest army of private security guards in the world”, reported the Financial Times.

With the company providing critical services, such as the management of prisons and embassies, the merger is set to be carefully watched by governments. US state officials and unions have also called for greater scrutiny of the takeover, with parties believing it could negatively impact the working conditions for security guards.

 

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