New brokers hired to clean up G4S mess

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The Independent Online

Security giant G4S is understood to have hired JP Morgan and Citi as its new brokers in the wake of the FTSE 100 group's failure to buy Danish cleaner ISS.

Hoare Govett and Deutsche, the previous brokers, saw their positions reviewed last month as they were punished for the collapse of that £5.2bn deal last year. It is rumoured that Barclays Capital has also been brought onboard as a corporate adviser.

Shareholders were scared off by the scale of the ISS purchase, leaving G4S to question whether or not their brokers had sold the deal strongly enough. They have privately argued that they did their jobs properly and that investors were turned off the deal at the last minute due to market volatility.

Chairman Alf Duch-Pederson's decision to resign last month was also partly down to the failed takeover, which would have made G4S the world's biggest cleaning and security group with 1.2 million employees. Several investors felt he had been the driving force behind the proposal, while chief executive Nick Buckles publicly expressed "regret" for the embarrassment.

Hoare Govett has been at the centre of industry gossip for months, having lost a series of major roles as Royal Bank ofScotland looked to offload thebroker to rivals. Most significantly, pharmaceuticals giant GlaxoSmithKline, a client of nearly 17 years, replaced Hoare Govett with Citi just before Christmas.

However, Hoare Govett, one of the historic names in stockbroking, is now free to develop the business as it was bought out by US investment bank Jefferies earlier this month.

G4S has contracts to protect the British Embassy in Afghanistan and the London Olympics. It has not formally confirmed the appointments and a spokeswoman declined to comment.