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Belgian company wins mega contract to secure the European Commission
For the first time, a Belgian security company will be responsible for securing all 70 buildings of the European Commission, reports RTBF.
The key EU institution chose Liège company Protection Unit over G4S and Securitas for the €286 million six-year public contract.
Set up in 2009 by Samuel Di Giovanni, the security company has experienced a meteoric rise, growing from €7 million to more than €160 million annual turnover in four years.
It’s also been a turbulent journey for Di Giovanni, who was indicted in 2021 for insider trading in a case concerning the purchase and sale of shares in the Mithra company. Protection Unit’s board of directors maintained its confidence in the company’s founder.
An important stage in its recent success was winning the contract for Liège airport in 2020.
Reacting to its latest news, Belux commercial director Nicolas Van Ysendyck said: "Today we have won the biggest security market in Europe against the two world leaders G4S and Securitas. Moreover, it’s a historic first that a Belgian company can take care of the guarding of the site of the European Commission."
With the new contract taking effect on 1 October, Protection Unit now faces a challenge in recruiting qualified security guards due to the size of the contract and relatively short deadline.
Chief executive Nicolas de Angelis told RTBF that the group hoped to hire 1,100 qualified employees: "In our sector, as in others where there’s a lot of personnel, there is the desire to take over the staff who are in place on the site because they are already trained and know the site procedures, etc.”
It aims to recruit more than 80% of the agents already working on European Commission sites as well as 300 additional people in the Brussels region. As part of its major recruitment campaign, Protection Unit is partnering with the agency Actiris to hire and train jobseekers.
The company already has two training centres in Limal and Saint-Georges-sur-Meuse and plans to add a third in Brussels in the coming weeks. To meet the strict requirements of the European institution, fluency in English and Dutch as well as French is a plus and some computer knowledge is preferable. A clean criminal record is essential to apply for a position.