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G4S calls off ISS acquisition

01 November 2011

Nick Buckles

G4S and FS Invest have agreed to cancel the rights issue which was intended to part finance the £5.2bn bid for Danish cleaning company ISS – a bid that G4S will not now proceed with.

Alf Duch-Pedersen, Chairman of G4S, said: “We believe that developing our business towards an enhanced security and integrated facilities services model is the way forward in the longer term and we saw ISS as an excellent opportunity to achieve this aim. However, following the announcement of the Acquisition, shareholders have raised concerns particularly over its scale and perceived complexity against the backdrop of current macro-economic uncertainty.

“We consulted our leading shareholders ahead of announcing the transaction, and based on the feedback received, felt confident to launch the deal. We have now discussed the merits of this combination with a significantly larger number of our shareholders and whilst they continue to express their overwhelming support for the standalone G4S business and its management, the Board has listened carefully to concerns raised by shareholders regarding the Acquisition and has concluded that in the circumstances it is inappropriate to proceed.

“The Board and management of G4S remain focused on continuing to generate sustainable shareholder value and driving business success both organically and through targeted acquisitions.”

Nick Buckles, Chief Executive of G4S, said: “We are obviously disappointed that we have not been able to complete this transaction. We felt strongly that the combination of G4S and ISS would create a market-leading integrated security and facilities services company which would be well placed to meet the growing needs of customers and deliver significant investment returns at the same time. However, we respect the importance of shareholders' views and, on the basis of feedback received since the transaction was announced, we have decided not to proceed.

“Our strategy will continue to focus on providing higher value, integrated security solutions to our customers and leveraging our expertise in key sectors, geographies and service lines. We will continue to acquire businesses which add capability to G4S to help drive the business forward. The G4S business continues to develop positively with organic growth of 5% in the first nine months of 2011.”

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