G4S hits back at GardaWorld pension claims

Private security firm, G4S, has again rejected an acquisition offer from Canadian security company, GardaWorld, and refuted its claim that there are issues with its pension schemes.

As part of its hostile bid of 190p per share, GardaWorld stated that it would “address G4S’ pension issues”.

However, G4S said that the Canadian firm’s statements about its pension schemes were “misleading” and the schemes were “well funded”.

The British security company insisted that its UK pension schemes have been well managed by its trustees and consistently supported by G4S.

It noted that, as at the end of 2019, the schemes had assets of £2.4bn, liabilities of £2.7bn and a net deficit of £300m.

Furthermore, G4S stated that it has already agreed a funding plan with the trustees and pointed out that GardaWorld is yet to publish its funding plan for the G4S pension schemes.

“The funding position of the group’s pension schemes has been underpinned by responsible company contributions and a strong balance sheet reflected in G4S’s investment grade credit rating,” G4S said in a responding statement.

“GardaWorld is yet to publish its funding plan for the G4S pension schemes and may need to contribute a larger amount given its much higher leverage and sub-investment grade status - that is an issue for GardaWorld, not G4S shareholders.”

In response, a GardaWorld spokesperson said: “We said we would help shareholders ‘look under the hood’ and that is exactly what we will continue to do. G4S doesn’t appear to be enjoying the scrutiny.

"As we expect to demonstrate, the future for an independent G4S is not at all as the seven-year incumbent management team are painting it.”

GardaWorld initially bid 190p per share on 1 September 2020, which was rejected by the G4S board.

The Canadian firm announced an unchanged offer of 190p per share on 30 September 2020, which the G4S board again unanimously rejected “as it continues to significantly undervalue the company when assessed across a number of measures including historic performance, trading and transaction multiples, and on fundamental and intrinsic value”.

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