INTERSERVE: Ruscombe business that employs 45,000 staff to go into administration

Second construction business to go under within 24 hours, but it's currently business as usual say bosses

DAYS after announcing a contract worth almost £10 million, a Ruscombe-based business is facing administration – the second such business to go under this week.

Earlier today, Interserve – an international support services, construction and equipment group – lost a vote from its shareholders to back a rescue plan.

As a result, it is now applying to the High Court to file for administration, placing at risk 45,000 UK staff and 65,000 worldwide.

However, the firm has said that its services will continue as normal in the interim. These include cleaning and catering contracts as well as building work.

The plan, which almost 60% of shareholders rejected, would have seen them agree to seeing their stake reduced to 5% and lenders receiving the a majority stake I the business.

BBC News reported that accountancy firm EY is expected to carry out a ‘pre-pack administration’ to ensure Interserve won’t undergo a Carillion-style collapse.

The move follows news that the Dawnus group ceased trading yesterday and, as a result, thrown work on Peach Place in doubt.

However, Interserve remains upbeat about the plan to place it into administration and believes that a way forward can be found.

A statement from Interserve on its website says: “Interserve has announced that its parent company has applied for administration. This is part of an alternative deleveraging transaction which will restore the Group’s balance sheet and provide additional liquidity.

“It is envisaged that the administrators, if appointed, will immediately sell Interserve’s business and assets to a new company, to be controlled by Interserve’s lenders.

“Following the sale, the intention is for an alternative transaction to be implemented involving the equitisation of approximately £485 million of existing debt and the injection of £110 million of new money into the Group.

“All companies in the Group other than the parent company will remain solvent, providing continuity of service for customers and suppliers.

“Completion of the transaction is anticipated to occur on or before Monday 18 March.

“The Board believes this is the best remaining option to preserve value, protect the jobs of employees and ensure the Group can carry on as normal with minimal disruption.”

It has set up a dedicated hotline for any company employees, customers or suppliers who want to know more about its plans. It will be open from 7am to 7pm until Monday, March 18. To contact it, call 0333 207 4180.

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Phil Creighton

Editor of The Wokingham Paper, and has worked in local journalism for more than 20 years including the Wokingham Times, Bracknell Standard and Reading Evening Post. He's also written for computer magazines, The Baptist Times and, to his delight and probably not yours, interviewed several Doctor Whos.

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