Danish Firm to Buy Wackenhut of U.S.


Danish security and rescue company Group 4 Falck says it would buy Wackenhut Corp., the largest security company in the United States, for $573 million in cash to tap a growing market in the wake of the Sept. 11 attacks.

With the deal, Falck’s first entry into the $14-billion U.S. security market, the company would challenge its Nordic rival Securitas’ leading market position and could follow with more acquisitions.

Falck posted total sales of $2.5 billion in 2001, compared with Securitas’ $5.9 billion.

Securitas holds less than 20 percent of the U.S. guarding market, after acquisitions of rival companies Pinkerton and Burns. Falck said Wackenhut is the second largest provider of security services in the U.S., its sales of $1.1 billion corresponding to a market share of 7 percent to 8 percent.

Falck, the second-largest security firm, would pay $33 a share for Wackenhut, equal to a 14-percent premium to the combined Wackenhut A and B shares.

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