UPDATE 1-Britain's G4S flags 'strong' quarter as takeover deadlines loom

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Feb 9 (Reuters) - British private security firm G4S, which is a target of a bidding war, on Tuesday reported new and retained contracts worth 5.5 billion pounds ($7.58 billion) and said its fourth-quarter performance was “strong”.

The company, which has agreed to be bought by U.S. rival Allied Universal, also has an offer in hand from Canada’s GardaWorld.

GardaWorld’s offer deadline ends on Wednesday, unless extended for the sixth time, while G4S shareholders have until Tuesday to accept Allied’s offer.

G4S had rejected GardaWorld’s hostile takeover bid of 235 pence per share in favour of Allied’s bid, which was 10 pence higher, valuing one of the word’s largest private security companies at 3.8 billion pounds.

In a trading update on Tuesday, G4S said its cash flow benefited from COVID-19 payroll and indirect tax deferrals of about 110 million pounds.

$1 = 0.7260 pounds Reporting by Yadarisa Shabong in Bengaluru; Editing by Shounak Dasgupta