G4S chief plans to sell off units and cut UK jobs

Suzie Neuwirth

FTSE 100-listed security company G4S yesterday outlined plans to restructure the business, as it battles to turn around its fortunes and restore its damaged reputation.

Chief executive Ashley Almanza said he will sell or restructure 35 weaker performing units and plans to cut up to 400 UK jobs over the next 18 months. It is understood that G4S is hoping to relocate some of the roles and that the job cuts will not be from the cash solutions division.

Almanza admitted that the company had suffered “significant reputational damage”. The Serious Fraud Office launched a criminal investigation into G4S and peer Serco on Monday, in relation to government-awarded prisoner tagging contracts. The news was the latest in a number of high-profile scandals to hit G4S, notably its botched handling of a security contract for the 2012 London Olympics.

G4S yesterday reported organic revenue growth of four per cent in the third quarter, slowing slightly from 5.4 per cent in the first half of the year.

Almanza has set out a restructuring programme since he took on the chief executive role in June. Last week, G4S turned down an £1.55bn “opportunistic” offer from Charterhouse Capital Partners for its cash solutions unit, cooling speculation that Almanza would break up the company.

The turnaround plans did not impress investors yesterday, with shares closing down 0.9 per cent.