UK's security services firm G4S rejects $2.5-bn bid for cash solutions business

UK-based security services firm G4S yesterday rejected a £1.55-billion ($2.5 billion) offer for its cash solutions business from British private equity firm Charterhouse Capital Partners, saying the bid undervalued the unit.

G4S said the nature and timing of the non-binding offer, which was made by Charterhouse on 22 October, was "highly opportunistic,'' and added, "the cash solutions business is integral to G4S's operations and strategic plans."

Bloomberg had last week reported that Charterhouse has approached banks and its investors over financing a deal for the unit, which transports cash using high-security vehicles and manages ATM machines. (See: Charterhouse Capital mulls $1.6-bn bid for G4S's cash-solutions business)

The unit accounted for about 18-per cent of G4S'2012 revenues of £7.3 billion.

''The offer has been firmly rejected considering the strategic importance of the cash solutions businesses to G4S and because the board believes the conditional offer fundamentally undervalues the business and its prospects," G4S said in the statement.

"G4S is committed to invest in its core businesses, including cash solutions, which have strong opportunities for sustainable profitable growth."

Formerly Group 4 Securicor, the company has its origins in Copenhagen, Denmark, having first started operations in 1901 as a guarding business by its founder Marius Hogrefe.

G4S was formed through the 2004 merger between Securicor plc and Group 4 Falck A/S's security business, and moved its headquarters to the UK.

The West Sussex-based company provides guarding services at various airports including Heathrow Airport, Oslo Airport, Brussels Airport and Schiphol Airport as well as at various facilities belonging to the US, UK, Canada and European Governments.

It also operates custody facilities, including prisons and electronic security systems. In addition, it provides cash management and logistics services for the main British and European Banks.

G4S owns the Wackenhut Corporation, a leading provider of security services in North America, and provides revenue protection services for railway companies across the UK.

It is the second-largest non-governmental employer in the world, with more than 1.15 million employees, after US retail giant Wal-Mart.