Garda World Security Corporation, a security services firm, announced today that it has entered into an agreement with Stephan Cretier, Founder, Chairman and CEO of Garda, and Apax Partners to acquire Garda for C$1.1 billion in cash, including assumed debt. Under the terms of the transaction, the investment consortium will acquire each Class A share of Garda for C$12.00 in cash.
“Garda is a great Canadian success story and we intend to expand on that achievement,” said Mr. Cretier. “To achieve this goal, we intend to continue to pursue our growth strategy both organically and through acquisitions, which we can more efficiently accomplish as a private company. With Apax becoming a major shareholder, Garda will have access to a more flexible and efficient structure to fuel its growth.”
Garda is a global provider of security and cash logistics services. The company serves clients in countries throughout North America, Europe, Latin America, Africa, Asia and the Middle East. Garda works with clients in a range of sectors and industries including financial institutions, retailers, governments, humanitarian relief organizations and the natural resources, construction and telecommunications industries. Garda is based in Montreal and has 45,000 employees (www.gardaglobal.com).
Stephan Cretier founded Garda in 1995 with an investment of C$25,000 and grew the company to in excess of C$1.2 billion in annual revenues. Mr. Cretier is the largest shareholder of the company owning approximately 23.5% of shares outstanding.
“The investment by Apax is a ‘win-win’ opportunity for everyone involved. It provides Garda shareholders with a significant all-cash premium for their shares, while assuring a superior and sustained service for our clients,” said Mr. Cretier. “I’m proud of our accomplishments over our 17-year history. We owe our success and our bright future prospects to the talented and dedicated people at all levels of our company.”
“We are excited to partner with Garda’s highly-motivated, entrepreneurial management team to pursue growth opportunities in selected markets globally,” said Mitch Truwit, a Partner at Apax and Co-Head of the firm’s Financial & Business Services team.
Apax Partners has $35 billion of capital under management and operates across the United States, Europe and Asia. Sectors of interest include: technology & telecom; retail & consumer; media; healthcare; and financial & business services. The firm is based in London, UK (www.apax.com).
Royal Bank of Canada acted as M&A advisor to Apax Partners and along with Bank of America Merrill Lynch are providing financing for the transaction.
© 2012 PEPD • Private Equity’s Leading News Magazine • 9-10-12