Bloomberg News

G4S Faces Opposition to ISS Deal From Shareholder Parvus

October 20, 2011

(Updates with investor comment in fourth paragraph.)

Oct. 20 (Bloomberg) -- G4S Plc’s planned purchase of Danish cleaning-services company ISS for $8.2 billion in equity and debt is meeting resistance from Parvus Asset Management, among its largest investor, which said the deal is too risky.

Some of the other 20 top shareholders in the security services company are also inclined to vote against the move at a Nov. 2 shareholders’ meeting, Parvus fund manager Edoardo Mercadante said in a phone interview.

G4S is targeting ISS to expand in cleaning services as it seeks to bundle office-upkeep and security into a single contract. For Parvus, there is a risk that such an integrated services approach won’t work outside the U.K. market and absorbing a company with about 1.2 million employees may disrupt operations, Mercadante said. G4S dropped 22 percent on the day of the announcement, a record.

“It is just too big a step to take on an unproven vision,” said Mercadante. Parvus has a 3.7 percent stake in the company, he said. “They are also taking a huge financial risk.”

The Crawley, England-based company plans a 2 billion-pound rights offer to fund the purchase. G4S is buying ISS from EQT Partners and Goldman Sachs Capital Partners for a total value of 5.2 billion pounds, of which 3.7 billion pounds is assumed debt.

G4S rose 8.3 pence, or 3.6 percent, to 241.9 pence at 11:24 a.m. in London trading, giving the company a market value of 3.41 billion pounds.

--Editors: Andrew Noel, Benedikt Kammel

To contact the reporter on this story: Sabine Pirone in London at spirone@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Andrew Noel at anoel@bloomberg.net


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