G4S chief in flurry of ISS meetings

NICK Buckles, the chief executive of security group G4S, has held more than 20 meetings with key investors over the last fortnight in an attempt to convince them to back the £5.2bn takeover of rival ISS.

City A.M. understands Buckles has met several institutional investors more than once and will continue to hold the sessions until 2 November, when shareholders are due to vote on the controversial deal.

Buckles spent Monday in Copenhagen meeting Scandinavian investors who remain from the days before the merger between Securicor and the security business of Denmark’s Group 4 Falck in 2007.

Last night a person close to the ISS takeover said the meetings had gone “very well” and that G4S accepts it had to explain the reasons for it to shareholders.

“We realise the deal will come as a surprise because of its size and also it is very complex,” the source said.

Yesterday it also emerged that Pirc, the influential shareholder body, is backing the deal, which involves a £2bn cash call.

Pirc, which advises investors with more than £1.5 trillion in assets, said in a report: “Potential dilution for existing shareholder is mitigated by the fact that the financing of the acquisition will be done via a rights issue.”

Shares in G4S closed down 1.44 per cent at 240p yesterday. The company’s stock has tumbled almost 15 per cent since news of its plans for ISS first emerged, and remain at their lowest level in more than a year.