G4S gets potential suitor after rebuffing GardaWorld's hostile bid

FILE PHOTO: A G4S security van in Loughborough, central England, August 28, 2013. REUTERS/Darren Staples/File Photo

(Reuters) - G4S GFS.L said on Friday U.S.-based Allied Universal Security Services has expressed interest in a potential offer for the British company, which in recent weeks has repeatedly rejected a hostile takeover attempt by Canada's GardaWorld.

G4S, one of the world’s largest private security companies, reiterated that shareholders were strongly advised to reject private-equity backed GardaWorld’s 190 pence per share offer valuing it at 2.97 billion pounds.

Shares in the London-listed company jumped on the prospect of another offer on the table, rising 5% to 212 pence by 1227 GMT.

Its stock has gained 38% since GardaWorld first made its offer public on Sept. 14. The British company has a market capitalisation of 3.12 billion pounds as of Thursday’s close.

GardaWorld, majority owned by buyout firm BC Partners, said on Tuesday it had begun meeting with key G4S shareholders regarding its offer, which the G4S board called “unattractive and opportunistic”.

Allied Universal did not immediately respond to Reuters request for comment.

Reporting by Yadarisa Shabong in Bengaluru; Editing by Shailesh Kuber