WESTLAKE VILLAGE, Calif. (AP) _ Security services firm Pinkerton Inc. is being acquired by Securitas AB of Sweden for $384 million in a deal they say will create the world's largest full-service security firm.

Pinkerton was founded in 1850 by Allan Pinkerton and is one of the world's best-known security providers, with annual revenue exceeding $1 billion.

Pinkerton has more than 250 offices and 48,000 employees throughout the U.S., Canada, Latin America, Europe, Asia and Australia.

``This merger is a dramatic milestone for the security industry,'' said Thomas Berglund, Securitas president and chief.

``We have spent 10 years building a strong and comprehensive European platform and Europe still represents a huge potential for further growth and improved profitability. The acquisition gives us a strong second base for a duplication of the last 10 years of development in Europe,'' Berglund said.

The joint announcement by Westlake Village-based Pinkerton and Stockholm-based Securitas said Securitas will pay $29 a share in cash for all outstanding shares of Pinkerton.

Annual revenue for the new company is expected to hit $3.5 billion annually. It will employ 114,000 employees in more than 30 countries in Europe, North and South America, and Asia.

The combined firm would account for about 5 percent of revenue generated in the global security market.

``This combination of two powerful security leaders will provide global corporations with access to a truly global network of security services,'' said Denis R. Brown, Pinkerton's chief executive.

``We are finding that U.S. corporations, in particular, are seeking to consolidate their security with fewer providers in order to create more integrated, well-planned security environments for their assets worldwide.''

Pinkerton will become a wholly owned subsidiary of Securitas under the deal, which has been approved by the boards of both companies.

The deal requires regulatory approval.

Securitas said Brown would remain chief and become chairman of Pinkerton. Brown will also be nominated to the Securitas board.