Security giant G4S firmly rejected a £1.55 billion bid for its cash handling arm today, saying it fundamentally “undervalues the business and its prospects”.
The group, which is battling to restore its reputation after a series of scandals, branded the offer from Charterhouse Capital Partners “highly opportunistic” and said the cash delivery business formed a key part of its own strategic plans.
It said that cash usage was growing, especially in emerging markets, and highlighted the fact that the business is relatively recession-proof.
The cash business, which has a presence in more than 40 emerging markets, is usually integrated with G4S’ “secure solutions” division, providing synergies and making it harder to sell, it added.
G4S said: “The board regards the nature and timing of the approach to be highly opportunistic and, following due consideration with the assistance of financial advisers, the offer has been firmly rejected considering the strategic importance of the cash solutions businesses to G4S and because the board believes the conditional offer fundamentally undervalues the business and its prospects.”
Panmure Gordon analyst Mike Allen said G4S needed a stable business like the cash division at a time when there is uncertainty over its lucrative contracts with the UK government.