G4S: Fighting to secure its own world

G4S: Fighting to secure its own world


While G4S has long been associated with high-profile and embarrassing headlines, the Olympics aside, these have not often negatively impacted on either the company’s financial performance, or its ability to secure new contracts. Following the screening of a recent BBC Panorama documentary highlighting a string of abuses in one of its Secure Training Centres (STCs), fresh calls were made in the House of Commons for the company to be banned from bidding on government contracts. This case study examines a string of controversies, both at home and abroad, the impact they have had on the company, its prospects of future work for the UK government, and how well insulated the company is from the potential loss of a lucrative client.

Key Findings

Examines the troubles faced by G4S during its relatively short history

Assesses the damage these controversies have inflicted on the company's reputation

Looks at the restructing program undertaken, and the level of success it has achieved

Considers the company's prospects both at home and abroad

Reasons To Buy

How has G4S acquired such a negative reputation?

How has this impacted on its ability to win new contracts?

How effective has the restructuring process been?

Key Highlights

G4S employed 610,000 members of staff around the globe in 2015

24% of company revenue in 2015 was generated through government contracts

High-profile accusations of fraud, neglect and abuse have tarnished the company's reputation, both in the UK and abroad

GS – a brief potted history
An overview of services
A global operation
A history of controversy
Early days in the spotlight
The death of Jimmy Mubenga
A debacle of Olympic proportions
Company performance
A solid start to life
The cost of failure
Governmental outsourcing in the UK
Establishing a trend of outsourcing public services
Criticism of outsourcing monopolies
No apparent change in policy
Unsecured world: losing contracts at home and abroad
UK children’s services business
Tagged, dead or alive
BBC Inside Out reveals early problems
Repaying the government, and having the contract “stripped” from them
Two years later, and still tagging
Negative headlines add up on the domestic front
The red door scandal
HMP Oakwood: Prison of the (dystopian) future
Overseas embarrassments
Accusations of torture and death in South African prison
Australian PNG detention center
Pressure surrounding involvement in Israel
A change at the top
New markets
Cutting away the dead wood
Failings mask restructuring work
Future prospects
Angling for new UK contracts
Continuing to grow the global business
Further streamlining
Restructuring, greater oversight and new markets are key
Further Reading
Ask the analyst
About MarketLine
List of Figures
Figure 1: Sources of revenue (2015)
Figure 2: Revenue by region (2015)
Figure 3: G4S logo
Figure 4: G4S revenues, £bn, 2004 - 2015
Figure 5: G4S profits
Figure 6: Asylum seekers’ doors painted red by G4S subcontractor
Figure 7: Police outside HMP Oakwood during January 2014 riot
Figure 8: Revenue percentage by market
Figure 9: G4S employee numbers
Figure 10: G4S share price

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