January 26, 2021

DealBook: Garda Security Gets $1.1 Billion Buyout Offer

Stephan Cretier, chief executive of Garda World Security, in 2007.Christinne Muschi/ReutersStéphan Crétier, chief executive of Garda World Security, in 2007.

QUEBEC CITY _ The founder, chairman and chief executive of Garda World Security, an armored car and security company based in Montreal, joined forces with a private equity fund to make a $1.1 billion offer to take the company private on Friday.

In league with the chief executive, Stéphan Crétier, is Apax Partners, the London-based private equity. The consortium’s $12-a-share offer includes the assumption of $625 million in debt.

Garda was founded in 1995 by Mr. Crétier with an investment of $25,000. The company went on a largely debt financed shopping spree during the 2000s, which made it the second largest cash handling company in the United States after Brink’s. But the financial crisis in 2008 and problems with its acquisition of ATI Systems International caused to the company to violate the terms of some loan agreements. And its stock price plummeted.

The company eventually refinanced its debt and its operations have recovered along with the financial services sector. But the company’s relatively high debt had depressed its share price.

The consortium’s offer is 30 percent higher than Thursday’s closing share price on the Toronto stock exchange. Following the recommendation of a committee of independent directors, Garda’s board has unanimously endorsed the offer. Mr. Crétier abstained from that process.

In a statement, Mr. Crétier suggested that Garda would be able to acquire additional companies more easily once it stops being publicly traded.

“We intend to continue to pursue our growth strategy both organically and through acquisitions, which we can more efficiently accomplish as a private company,” Mr. Crétier said.

The company separately announced on Friday that it had earned $4.9 million in its second quarter, up from $3.8 million during the same period last year. Revenue rose 13.7 percent, to $337 million during the quarter.

Article source: http://dealbook.nytimes.com/2012/09/07/garda-security-gets-1-1-billion-buyout-offer/?partner=rss&emc=rss

General Mills to Buy Control of Yoplait

General Mills, which has held the American distribution rights to Yoplait since 1977, entered into exclusive talks two months ago with the private equity fund PAI Partners and the French dairy cooperative Sodiaal.

General Mills said on Wednesday that it would buy 51 percent of the company that runs Yoplait’s operations and 50 percent of the entity that holds the licensing rights to Yoplait, the world’s second-largest yogurt brand after Danone. Sodiaal will hold the remaining stakes in both entities.

General Mills expects the deal, which is subject to regulatory approval, to close in the quarter that begins at the end of May.

General Mills and Yoplait will also end an arbitration case over the American license, and General Mills will continue to market Yoplait yogurt under that license.

The deal follows months of tense and highly political negotiations involving members of the French government and the influential agricultural lobby, concerned about the loss of jobs in France.

The deal has received antitrust approval in the United States, the Federal Trade Commission said.

Article source: http://feeds.nytimes.com/click.phdo?i=574914a6db068e01d02982c3cbcc4306