G4S set to secure £600m with placing and sales

SECURITY giant G4S plans to raise £600 million through a fire sale and equity placing after slumping to a first-half loss yesterday.

The group has been under pressure since it botched a contract for the London Olympics last year, and more recently faced accusations of over-charging for UK government electronic tagging services.

It slumped to pre-tax losses of £87m for the first six months, after profits of £48m a year earlier were wiped out by a £180m writedown of assets and liabilities.

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The group also has a debt pile of almost £2 billion and new boss Ashley Almanza said it must complete a “year of consolidation” in order to return to growth.

The firm announced a placing of shares worth around £350m, and is offloading businesses for a total of £250m.

Almanza said: “We need to strengthen our balance sheet to be able to realise the group’s opportunity for substantial value creation. 2013 will be a year of consolidation for the group with the actions we are now taking starting to deliver tangible benefits during 2014.”

The move was well received by the market, with shares strengthening and analysts welcoming plans for a group wide efficiency programme and a new systems to improve risk management.