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Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 18 January 2019

Attacks on G4S armoured trucks spurs UK firm to look at IPO

Company weighing an exit from $1.5 billion cash-transportation business with the most likely options being an initial public offering or spin-off

Afghan security officials at the site of a suicide attack which targeted a British security contractor group G4S, in Kabul. The deadliest country for journalists this year has been Afghanistan EPA.
Afghan security officials at the site of a suicide attack which targeted a British security contractor group G4S, in Kabul. The deadliest country for journalists this year has been Afghanistan EPA.

UK security company G4S is weighing an exit from a $1.5 billion cash-transportation business that’s been hit by waning use of notes in developed markets and a wave of attacks on armoured trucks in South Africa and an Afghanistan bomb attack last month.

A review of the division is expected to be completed next year, with the most likely options being an initial public offering or spin-off, chief executive Ashley Almanza said on Thursday. The unit could be valued at about $2bn, according to RBC Capital. Shares of London-based G4S jumped the most in more than two years on an intraday basis.

The move comes after a reorganisation of G4S at the start of this year, which divided the group into two arms focused on private security services and cash handling. Profitability in Cash Solutions has been on the wane as retailers in developed countries shift to digital payments and partly due to surge in the number of attacks on its vans in South Africa, which has increased costs.

Developed markets account for about two-thirds of the cash business, which last year posted adjusted earnings before interest, tax and amortisation of £160 million (Dh743.9m). The company aims is to establish two strong, independent businesses, Mr Almanza said. Competitors include Prosegur de Seguridad, Loomis, and Brink’s.

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“The board believes that a separation of Cash Solutions has the clear potential to enhance the focus and success of both businesses and thus to unlock substantial shareholder value,” the company said.

The business, which accounted for about 16 per cent of group revenue in 2017, operates across 45 countries topping up cash machines and transporting bills. G4S has been investing in new technology to expand into new revenue streams, including in the US where it’s secured retail giant Walmart as a customer for its cash counting and handling service.

Shares of the company surged as much as 10 per cent, the biggest intraday gain since November 2, 2016. The stock was trading up 9 per cent at 199.80 pence as of 9:45am in London, lifting the group’s market value to £3.1bn.

Updated: December 13, 2018 02:43 PM

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