Garda (security company)
|Industry||Security & Protection Services|
|Headquarters||Montreal, Quebec, Canada|
|Key people||Stephan D. Cretier|
|Services||Physical Security, Armored Car Service, Investigations|
|Employees||45,000+ (by November 14, 2013) 1|
GardaWorld Security Corporation is a Canadian private security firm,2 based in Montreal, Quebec, Canada, with 45,000 employees (by November 2013). Though GardaWorld International Protective Services,3 now the international division of the company, began its operations in 1984, Garda World Security Corporation was established by its Quebecer owner Stéphan Crétier in 1995, who initially invested $25,000 in the company, then named Trans-Quebec Security Inc.4 The company is the fifth largest consulting and security services firm in the world, with operations in North America, Latin America, Europe, Africa, Asia and the Middle East.5 The company today runs heavily on physical security guard services as well as armoured car services in select countries and cities throughout the world. The firm has over 200 offices worldwide.6
During the mid-2000s, GardaWorld went on a poorly timed and debt-fueled spree of acquisitions, the most crucial of which was a $391 million deal for Californian securities-oriented firm ATI Systems International Inc.4 This deal however soon proved to be a poor choice; GardaWorld ended up suing ATI’s former CEO for allegedly misrepresenting its financial situation, while the CEO sued for wrongful dismissal.4
On June 3, 2009 GardaWorld announced the sale of its U.S. and Mexico guarding operations to Andrews International for a total cash consideration of US$44.25 million,7 following a particularly poor financial performance the previous year; in mid-2008, GardaWorld’s stock fell by more than 90%.4 Debt restructuring followed and the company was left afloat, but looking weak in the eyes of its investors. Over the next few years, the results gradually improved and this was attributed to high demand for services in the Middle East and Afghanistan.4
GardaWorld has also resumed making acquisitions in the past year, which has driven its debt to $639 million, 4.2 times that of its operating profit (as of 7 September 2012).4 This has prompted owner Stéphan Crétier to lead a buyout of his firm and he has revealed plans with a British private equity firm, Apax Partners, that could result in a $300 million ownership division of the company.4
On August 28, 2013, an agreement had been reached for the acquisition of G4S Cash Solutions Limited in Canada, for approximately $110 million, with the deal expected to be finalized before the end of the year8
- "Garda World Security Corporation Company Profile - Yahoo! Finance". biz.yahoo.com. 2011. Retrieved 29 June 2011.
- Sean Silcoff (7 September 2012). "Garda World Security founder leads company buyout". The Globe and Mail.
- Garda Global. "Garda: Fast Facts". Garda Global.
- "Sale of G4S Cash Solutions Canada Limited". 28 August 2013. Retrieved 11 September 2013.
- Britten, Nick. "The Security Company". The Daily Telegraph. 30 May 2007.
|Wikinews has related news: Five arrested in Canada after C$2 million armoured car robbery|