GardaWorld Corporation is a Canadian private security
firm, headquartered in Montreal
, with 102,000 employees as of January 2020.
GardaWorld International Protective Services, the international division of the company, began operations in 1984. GardaWorld Security Corporation was established as Trans-Québec Security Inc. by Stéphan Crétier
in 1995, who invested initially $25,000.
The company runs physical security guard services and armoured car services globally, with over 200 offices worldwide.
GardaWorld is involved in various business fields:
* Protective services: security officers, mobile patrol, loss prevention and investigations services across Canada
* Aviation services: pre-board screening in 28 Canadian airports with the Canadian Air Transport Security Authority
* International Protective Services : diplomatic protection, crisis management in Asia, Latin America, Africa and in the Middle East
* Cash Services: cash in transit and vault solutions in North America
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 security-oriented firm ATI Systems International Inc.
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.
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, following a particularly poor financial performance the previous year; in mid-2008, GardaWorld’s stock fell by more than 90%.
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.
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).
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.
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 year.
On February 22, Security group GardaWorld announced it would not will pursue its bid for G4S, ending a hostile takeover campaign.
BC Partners bought a 51% stake in private security company Garda World Security from Rhône Capital in a deal that values the Montreal-based business at C$5.2 billion (about $3.96 billion). As part of the deal, Garda World (branded as GardaWorld) founder and CEO Stephan Crétier and the company's management team will retain a 49% stake.
It wasn't a particularly lengthy ownership period for Rhône, which acquired the business in 2017 alongside Crétier and some members of management from Apax Partners in a deal valued at $2.2 billion. Apax originally took the company private in 2012 for about C$1.1 billion.
2020 investigation into armored truck crashes and deaths
A March 1, 2020 article by the Tampa Bay Times
found the company engaged in a decade of dangerous behavior and its trucks frequently causes crashes: "At least 19 people have been killed in Garda crashes since 2008, three in the past year alone." Based in part on a former employee's documents and data (which GardaWorld has unsuccessfully argued was stolen from the company) and then used unsuccessfully in two dismissed lawsuits and 90 interviews, 56 of them being current or former drivers, the article shows that Garda trucks frequently lacked reliable brakes, seat belts and sometimes even seats. The article also documents that drivers often received barely any training and said they were pressured to work long hours, even after repeated crashes. The GardaWorld database showed that during one period there were over 100 crashes on average monthly and that over a two and half year period over 320 people were injured. Additionally, the former employee alleges that GardaWorld offered to pay her to buy her silence, but that she chose not to accept money because: "I know I made the right decision by not accepting the money or signing a release. I believed in the truth prevailing - and am grateful to be able to share my story to help others."Board Chairman Threatened To Kill Execs|If They Talked About Finances, VP Says
Category:Companies formerly listed on the Toronto Stock Exchange
Category:Companies based in Montreal
Category:Security companies of Canada
Category:Security companies of the United States