Interserve in pre-pack administration

Major Government Contractor Interserve To Enter Into Administration

This was after just under 60% of the company's shareholders voted against a rescue plan earlier today.

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 on Friday.

It sells services, including probation, cleaning and healthcare, and is involved in construction projects.

"Shambolic mismanagement is putting jobs on the line and services in jeopardy".

On Friday, shareholders will vote on whether to accept a debt-for-equity swap which would see creditors take control in exchange for writing off 485 million pounds ($641 million) of debt and injecting 110 million pounds of new liquidity. It was rejected 59% to 41% by shareholders.

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

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Glyn Barker, Interserve's chairman, warned against forcing it into administration ahead of the vote, arguing it would be more disruptive and costly and wipe out all shareholder value.

Tizard said he had no doubt that contingency plans will have been drawn and added that it was now necessary for public sector clients to implement these.

Interserve is one of the government's largest contractors and employs 45,000 people in the UK. Its website also states that it provides probation services for 40,000 people on behalf of the Ministry of Justice.

The board's statement on Friday afternoon said: "In the absence of any viable alternative, the board 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".

Interserve, which employs 65,000 people around the world and is one of the United Kingdom government's biggest outsourcers, said the deal was "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 brings the company the stability required for it to compete for future business and continue to deliver good value public services for the taxpayer". "We are in close contact with the company and we are confident a positive way forward will be found", a Cabinet Office spokesman told Yahoo Finance UK.

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