NEW YORK (CNNfn) - Sweden's Securitas AB said Monday it will buy Pinkerton's Inc., the U.S. security giant that guards everything from the Olympics to the Oscars, for about $384 million in stock, creating the world's largest full-service security firm.
Under the deal, Westlake Village, Calif.-based Pinkerton's will become a wholly-owned subsidiary of Securitas. The Stockholm-based company plans to pay $29 for each of Pinkerton's 12.2 million outstanding shares and 2.3 million options. The transaction will be a cash tender offer followed by a cash merger to acquire any shares not previously tendered.
Shares of Pinkerton's (PKT) soared on the announcement, climbing 11-5/8 to 28-1/2 in early trade.
The agreement, subject to regulatory approvals, has been approved by both companies' boards, and Pinkerton's largest shareholder, Chairman Thomas Wathen, has agreed to sell his 30.6 percent stake at the offer price.
The merger marks a new stage in Pinkerton's colorful history, which includes its tenure as President Abraham Lincoln's protector, a job the company lost after thwarting a nonexistent assassination plot. The company, one of the country's first national detective agencies, is also known for its dogged pursuit of Wild West outlaws, including the legendary Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid.
Combined, Securitas and Pinkerton's will have 5 percent of the world's global security market, with annual revenue of $3.5 billion. The companies expect Monday's deal to improve operational efficiencies and bolster future profits. They predicted annual growth in the U.S. security market of 7 percent to 9 percent over the next 5 years and between 6 percent and 7 percent in the European security market.