MONTREAL — Alongside Garda World Security Corp.’s founder, chairman and CEO, Stephan Crétier, funds advised by BC Partners, a London-based private investment firm, and others have reached a definitive agreement to acquire Rhône Group’s equity interest in the Montreal-based security services giant in a $5.2 billion recapitalization.
Following the transaction close, BC Partners will have a 51 per cent common equity interest in GardaWorld while Crétier, together with select members of management, will hold 49 per cent.
Crétier in a statement, “GardaWorld has come a long way since its humble beginnings when I started this company with a $25,000 second mortgage on my home 25 years ago. Today, our operations take us from our head office in Montreal, Quebec to the oil fields of Iraq; from protecting embassies in Africa to serving major U.S. financial institutions and securing Canadian airports. At this juncture of our evolution and as we enter our next phase of growth, I am truly excited to partner with BC Partners, who is the ideal co-shareholder to fuel our continued growth as we pursue our path to become a true global champion in the security services sector.”
“We look forward to partnering with GardaWorld’s founder Stephan Crétier and management team to further grow the company in the attractive security services industry, which we believe offers significant opportunities for consolidation. We admire GardaWorld’s unique entrepreneurial culture and superior operating model, which have contributed to its track record of best-in-class performance over the years. Looking forward, we are confident that our partnership will add significant value as the company continues to expand its reach,” said Paolo Notarnicola, lead deal partner for BC Partners, also in a statement.
Raymond Svider, partner and chairman of BC Partners added: “GardaWorld marks the latest transaction where we partner with an exceptional entrepreneur and team to continue to transform the business and take it to the next phase of growth. This is also the largest private buyout in Canadian history. We are thankful to Stephan Crétier and his team for their trust and are looking forward to a great partnership and an exciting journey together.”
Following the close of the announced transaction, private equity firm Rhône Capital will no longer have any equity participation in GardaWorld.
The transaction is expected to close by late 2019. Further financial terms of the transaction were not disclosed.
Barclays and TD Securities acted as financial advisors to GardaWorld. Scotiabank acted as financial advisors to BC Partners. Committed financing for the transaction is being provided by JPMorgan Chase Bank, Bank of America, Barclays and TD Securities. Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP and Séguin, Racine LLC acted as legal counsel to GardaWorld while Kirkland and Ellis LLP and Osler, Hoskin & Harcourt LLP acted as legal counsel to BC Partners.