Tuesday 9 February 2021 10:24 am

In-demand G4S hails 'strong' last quarter as takeover deadlines loom

Security firm G4S this morning hailed a “strong” fourth quarter as the bidding war for the outsourcer approached its conclusion.

The FTSE 250 firm said that it had achieved an “exceptional commercial performance” in the final period, with new and retained contracts worth £5.5bn.

In a trading update, G4S said its cash flow benefited from Covid-19 payroll and indirect tax deferrals of about £110m.

The trading update comes on the same day as the deadline for G4S’s shareholders to accept a £3.8bn offer from US firm Allied Universal.

After fending off the advances of Canadian firm Gardaworld for nearly half a year, G4S’ board accepted Allied Universal’s 245p per share bid in December.

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Despite this, Gardaworld has continued to extend the deadline for its own 235p per share bid, which now expires on Wednesday.

The Canadian firm’s dogged pursuit has led to several punchy back-and-forths between the protagonists, with G4S repeatedly saying that the bid undervalues it.

In return, Gardaworld has raised concerns about the FTSE 250 firm’s financial strength.

But the jockeying has been good for the firm’s share price, with G4S’s stock now trading at 261.0p.

That’s almost double where it was back in September, and three times higher than in March.