Security contractor G4S to sell most of cash ops to Brinks in £727 million deal

FILE PHOTO: Flags fly outside HMP Birmingham after the British government took over its running from G4S, in Birmingham, Britain August 20, 2018. REUTERS/Darren Staples

(Reuters) - G4S GFS.L said on Wednesday it would sell majority of its cash handling businesses to U.S. peer Brinks BCO.N for 727 million pounds ($944.66 million) including debt, as the British security contractor looks to focus on its core operations.

London-listed G4S, which had been reviewing options for its cash solutions business, said it would use part of the proceeds from the deal to cut down debt, adding it expects to get about three quarters of the proceeds in the first half of the year.

Shares of the company moved higher following the announcement and were up 3.4% at 193.80 pence as of 1637 GMT.

The company’s cash operation is spread across 44 countries and G4S’ vans and guards transporting boxes of money are a familiar sight in UK. It also provides security for the Hinkley Point C nuclear power station in Britain and the International Cricket Council.

The cash business also includes software and technology for payment services, which G4S will not sell to U.S. security company Brinks. It will also retain the UK cash solutions unit linked to its pension scheme.

G4S said its payment and cash technology business, which includes services such as Retail Cash Solutions, Cash360, Deposita and G4SPay, along with the retained UK business represent 8% of the company’s total revenue.

Brinks in a separate statement said it would fund its largest acquisition to date using cash, and debt from its existing loan facility.

“The sale of these conventional cash businesses simplifies the Group and enables G4S to focus on the growth of our core ... business and ... development of our rapidly growing cash and payment technology business,” G4S Chief Executive Ashley Almanza said.

The company also said it had determined the sale of these businesses was “superior” to a demerger of the entire division.

Reporting by Pushkala Aripaka in Bengaluru; Editing by Shinjini Ganguli