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G4S, Which Employed Mateen, Sees its Shares Plunge

At Least 50 Dead In Mass Shooting At Gay Nightclub In OrlandoAt Least 50 Dead In Mass Shooting At Gay Nightclub In Orlando
Orlando police officers seen outside of Pulse nightclub after a fatal shooting and hostage situation on June 12, 2016 in Orlando, Florida. Gerardo Mora — Getty Images

News that a G4S employee was the gunman who killed 50 people at a packed gay nightclub in Florida wiped almost 200 million pounds ($282.80 million) off the value of the world’s largest security firm.

Omar Mateen, 29, a Florida resident and U.S. citizen, had undergone company screening as recently as 2013 with “no adverse findings,” his British-based employer G4S said on Sunday. It said it was “deeply shocked” by the “tragic events.”

When trading opened in London on Monday, shares in G4S lost 6.6 percent to 175 pence to hit their lowest level since 2009.

An analyst who declined to be named said the incident could cause more damage to G4S after a long line of issues.

“It doesn’t help having their name in the press against something like that,” the analyst said.

Mateen was employed at a gated retirement community in South Florida. He underwent two instances of company screening and background checks – once when he was hired in 2007, and again in 2013. At that time, the company learned that Mateen had been questioned by the FBI but that the inquiries were then closed.

G4S has a checkered recent history after it failed to provide enough guards for the London Olympics in 2012, was then involved in a tagging fiasco the following year, and earlier this year took a 65 million pound charge on loss-making British government contracts.

G4S wasn’t alone in missing Mateen’s susceptibility to violence. The FBI twice investigated the 29 year-old Orlando shooter in connexion with suspected radical leanings, but interviews with him failed to establish any firm ties to terror groups. G4S noted that Mateen “was also subject to checks by a U.S. law enforcement agency with no findings reported to G4S.”