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Interserve to file for administration

By James Pugh | Telford | Business | Published:

Support services and construction group Interserve has failed to secure investor backing for a rescue plan and is set to fall into administration.

Interserve has many cleaning and maintenance contracts

It means lenders will now seize control of the firm which has a strong presence in the region, including employing people at nursing agency Interserve Healthcare in Telford.

Investors in Interserve – which holds crucial Government contracts for a range of services in prisons, schools and hospitals – voted against its proposal at a meeting.

Interserve said: "The board of directors of the company is convening an urgent board meeting to consider its options.

"In the absence of any viable alternative, it expects to implement an alternative deleveraging transaction, which is likely to involve the company making an application for administration and, if the order is granted, the immediate sale of the company's business and assets to a newly-incorporated company, to be owned by the existing lenders."

The firm added that the business will continue to operate "as normal for customers and suppliers".

Interserve, which employs 45,000 in the UK, has lined up EY to carry out a pre-pack administration, after which the firm will fall into the hands of its creditors.

Lenders such as RBS, HSBC and BNP Paribas – together with Emerald Asset Management and Davidson Kempner Capital – are expected to seize control once the process is complete.

The pre-pack process will allow it to avoid a Carillion-style collapse, to the relief of Government.

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Under the rejected plan, aimed at slashing a near-£650 million debt mountain, the group had been proposing a debt-for-equity swap with its lenders that would have resulted in existing investors seeing their holding slashed to just five per cent.

However, New York hedge fund Coltrane, Interserve's largest shareholder with more than 27 per cent, dismissed the plan, which was eventually rejected by over 59 per cent of shareholders.

The group has its new regional office near Birmingham Airport and employs people in cleaning and maintenance at Russells Hall Hospital, Dudley.

It also owns specialist construction firm RMD Kwikform in Aldridge and has offices in West Bromwich.

James Pugh

By James Pugh
@JamesP_Star

Shropshire Star Business and Farming Editor.

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