Chiefs at debt-stricken outsourcer Interserve are nearing a rescue refinancing deal with the firm’s lenders to keep its head above water.
The public sector outsourcing giant, which has been struggling with more than £600m debt, is due to announce it has reached an agreement with its banks in the next week, according to reports.
Interserve chief executive Debbie White’s announcement of debt-to-equity rescue talks with the firm’s banks late last year raised eyebrows among its suppliers, many of whom have privately raised concerns they will not receive payments from the struggling outsourcer.
But the announcement, which Sky News reported may come this week, would allay their concerns, along with those of the firm’s 45,000 UK employees, that Interserve will go the same way as failed contractor Carillion, which collapsed in January last year.
Government sources have insisted they have no doubts about the company’s long-term ability to deliver large public sector contracts, but shareholders have indicated they are not so sure in recent months, with the firm’s value having dropped 82 per cent in recent months to 12.72p.
Interserve is, however, making headway in offloading a series projects which had a substantial hand in building up its debt pile. Last week it finally finished one of four plants which turn waste materials into energy, hailed as “an important milestone” for the firm.
For the firm’s chiefs, the completion of the energy from waste (EfW) plant in Dunbar, on the south east coast of Scotland, marks a forward step in washing their hands of a set of projects which have plagued the contractor since 2016 and cost it more than £220m.
Interserve declined to comment on the timing of the refinancing on Sunday evening.