An intriguing takeover battle between G4S and GardaWorld is warming up nicely.
G4S is the established outsourcer with a bit of previous. GardaWorld the scrappy and smaller outsider making the hostile approach.
Those identities are perhaps reflected in the choice of PR firms, Brunswick (established blue chip adviser) for G4S, Montfort (always up for a brawl) for GardaWorld.
Seen-it-all before hacks regard this as a re-run of the Melrose takeover of GKN (FTI were playing the Brunswick role that time), which Melrose won.
You’d have to say the early skirmishes went to Garda/Montfort, though since they threw the first punches perhaps that’s not surprising.
Initially, G4S didn’t have much to say beyond insisting that shareholders would think the offer is too low. Maybe, but no shareholder in history has ever regarded an offer as too high.
Playing defence in these situations is probably harder, so perhaps Brunswick have the tougher task.
Were I betting, I’d put a tenner on Montfort. They are really good at this stuff.