G4S to repay UK government $181 mln for tagging scandal

LONDON, March 12 Wed Mar 12, 2014 7:37am EDT

LONDON, March 12 (Reuters) - The world's biggest security firm G4S has agreed to repay 108.9 million pounds ($181 million) plus tax to the British government after overcharging it on a contract to tag offenders, raising the prospect a ban on new work could soon be lifted.

The repayment, much higher than the 24 million pounds G4S offered in November, came as the firm on Wednesday posted annual profit below market forecasts and outlined a raft of heavy charges.

After a disastrous 2012, in which it failed to provide enough guards for the London Olympics, G4S has overhauled its management and embarked on a restructuring to revive its fortunes. However, 2013 entailed more scandal with the tagging fiasco leading to a ban since July on new government work and an ongoing investigation into it by the Serious Fraud Office.

Britain's Ministry of Justice said in a statement that talks with G4S over its "corporate renewal" continue. Government has said it will not allow G4S to win new work until it is satisfied with the changes the company has made internally.

($1 = 0.6014 British Pounds) (Reporting by Neil Maidment; Editing by Brenda Goh)

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