Stephan Crétier, the man behind this week’s hostile bid for the world’s biggest security group G4S, started out in life as an arbitrator rather than an antagonist.
Growing up in Montreal, he became a baseball umpire as a teenager, though by his own account he never quite made it in the Major League, beyond off-season games. Mr Crétier, who had also been studying for an MBA, ended up working at a small security company instead.
Three decades later, now founder and chief executive of Canadian security group GardaWorld, he is on the verge of becoming one of the most powerful figures in his industry.
This week, the group made its move on G4S, urging shareholders in its London-listed rival to force the board into talks over a £3bn offer, and revealing it had unsuccessfully bid for the company three times in the past three months.
With backing from BC Partners, the private equity firm that owns 51 per cent of GardaWorld, the move is a rare example of a European buyout group pursuing a hostile bid.
“I’m so sad when I see how G4S is being run . . . They’ve failed everyone,” Mr Crétier told the Financial Times when the bid…