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Gloucestershire Business News

Shareholders turn down rescue plan at one of UK's largest public service providers

The future of outsourcing giant Interserve is hanging in the balance after shareholders voted against a deleveraging plan designed to reduce a "crippling debt."

At a general meeting held this morning, 60 per cent of the company's shareholders rejected the plan.

The plan that would have seen the company handed over to creditors and existing shareholders retain just a five per cent stake was rejected by 59.38 per cent of stockholders.

The company said that with the "absence of any viable alternative" to its plan, it will now make an application for administration.

Shares in the company have been suspended and a deal for the sale of the firm that employs 45,000 in the UK, is expected to go through today.

No immediate job losses are expected.

Interserve provide staff to clean schools and hospitals, rub probation services and for building road infrastructure projects.

It has been battling to avoid the same fate as suffered by Carillion, after it got into similar problems in 2018.

The plan would have seen creditors take control of the company in exchange for wiping the £485 million debt and injecting £110million of new funds into the business.

Existing shareholders would have been left with just a five per cent stake in the group.

The company's current largest shareholder, hedge fund Coltrane Asset Management, who own 28 per cent of the shares objected to the deal.

The deleveraging plan released on the company's website said: "The company is in a critical financial situation."

Interserve are currently advertising for applicants for 12 staff roles in Gloucestershire, from cleaners at Chalford Hill School to office administrators in Fairford.

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