Securicor, Group 4 Falck hammer out plans

The companies make it official; a merger and formation of a new company is in the works
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Thursday, April 1, 2004

LONDON - After weeks of talks and speculation among security analysts, Securicor and Group 4 Falck announced in late February they will pursue plans to merge their security businesses.
The merger would create one of the world’s largest security companies, second only to Securitas with an estimated $7 billion in sales. The newly created company would be known as Group 4 Securicor and employ 340,000 people in 108 countries.

Before the deal can move forward, Group 4 Falck needs to spin-off its global solutions and rescue and safety services unit. Its security and service business would then combine with Securicor to create a new company traded on both the London and Copenhagen stock exchanges.

It remains unclear how the realignment will affect Group 4 Falck’s access control business, Amag Technology, in Torrance, Calif. Company officials in the United States deferred comment to officials in the U.K., who were not available for comment.

While the two companies appear to have a merger plan in place, it may not be smooth sailing ahead for the transaction. The deal is meeting opposition from the Service Employees International Union, which intends to file a complaint with European Union regulators citing labor issues, according to Jeff Cappella, spokesperson for the SEIU.

Cappella claimed that Group 4 Falck’s guard firm Wackenhut Corp. in the United States has a history of violating labor laws, such as retaliating against employees interested in joining a union. He said the merger of the two companies would result in an expansion of Group 4 Falck’s business, which is a concern for the labor organization.