Brunswick hired for Group 4 takeover bid

Danish security group Group 4 Falck has drafted in Brunswick following the leaking of its takeover talks with UK rival Securicor.

A spokesman for Group 4 confirmed the appointment of Brunswick this week after news of plans to merge Group 4’s UK security business with Securicor became public. Talks with Securicor were said to be still ‘in their very early stages’.

Brunswick is working alongside Mitchell Laybourne, a small consultancy started by ex-Brunswick partner Bob Mitchell. Mitchell’s advice is said to have played a key role in the decision to appoint Brunswick.

Brunswick managing partner James Bradley and partners Ruric Ingram and Richard Jacques are leading the account. The Brunswick team reports to Group 4 president and chief executive Lars Nørby Johansen.

Citigate Dewe Rogerson has advised Securicor since the beginning of last year (PRWeek 10 January 2003). The account is currently led by managing director Deborah Saw and director Patrick Toyne-Sewell.

Group 4 confirmed its talks with Securicor on Monday after the story broke in The Sunday Times. The company said it was discussing a nil-premium merger of its security businesses and Securicor.

Under the plans as they stand, the merger would be effected by a newly formed UK plc, which would acquire for shares both Group 4’s security businesses and Securicor. The new company would have a listing in London and Copenhagen.

The deal would also involve the demerger of Group 4’s Rescue and Safety and Global Solutions businesses, which would be listed together in Copenhagen. Under this arrangement, Securicor shareholders would have no interest in these businesses.

Group 4 is the second largest security services provider in the world with operations in more than 85 countries. The company has recorded an annual turnover of £2.9bn.

Securicor’s three product areas include the movement of cash for supermarkets and banks, general security services and the group’s justice division, which concentrates on work within the UK penal system.

If the deal goes ahead the combined company could be one of the top three security providers in the world, probably securing a place on the FTSE-100 index of the UK’s top companies. The current market leader is the Sweden-based Securitas.

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