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Chairman of G4S, world’s largest security firm, to step down

G4S share price, which fell 20% in the aftermath of the ISS bid has failed to recover closing 0.5% lower at 269.9p, on Friday

The chairman of the company tasked with protecting athletes and visitors at the London Olympics has paid the price for a failed deal to take over a cleaning company and fallen on his sword.

Alf Duch-Pedersen, who has headed the world’s largest security firm G4S for the past five years, said he was “sad” to be stepping down this year but accepted the time was right to find a successor. Chief executive, Nick Buckles, is still in a job but Duch-Pedersen is to go after shareholders rebelled against a rights issue for a planned £5.3bn takeover of Danish cleaning firm ISS.

Investors would not support a £2bn money-raising exercise unveiled last October – which would have allowed a merger to create a group with more than 1.2 million staff worldwide – at a time of deep economic uncertainty. Many analysts argued at the time that G4S – the result of an earlier merger between Group 4 and Securicor – should concentrate on its core protection work where it had won a groundbreaking contract to deliver back office functions for Lincolnshire police – the first of its kind by a British Police Authority.

Senior independent director at G4S – former Metropolitan police commissioner Lord Condon – spelled out the board’s thinking about the need to replace the chairman.

“On reaching 65, and following the board’s decision to terminate negotiations regarding the ISS acquisition, Alf Duch-Pedersen has informed the board of his intention to retire this year and we have reluctantly accepted his decision,” he said.

The G4S share price , which fell 20% in the immediate wake of the ISS fiasco and which has failed to fully recover since, dipped further closed 0.5% lower at 269.9p. © 2012 Guardian News and Media Limited or its affiliated companies. All rights reserved. | Use of this content is subject to our Terms & Conditions | More Feeds