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Interserve's EfW exit taking longer than expected

Embattled construction giant Interserve will continue to work on energy-from-waste (EfW) schemes for several months despite intending to exit the market last year, it has emerged

The Berkshire-headquartered contractor and outsourced service provider has secured a rescue plan that will see it slash its net debt to £275m.

Interserve has suffered financially from a troubled foray into building EfW plants, warning in 2017 that costs from problem contracts would “significantly exceed” £160m.

Chief executive Debbie White prioritised a move away from the sector, and the company said last August that it was “focused on the completion and commissioning of all sites in the second half [of 2018]”.

Interserve handed over the Dunbar renewable energy plant project to Viridor Enviroscot in January. But it still has three projects ongoing – in Derby, Margam and Templeborough – and MRW understands that handover of the final scheme is not expected before the summer.

The rescue plan involves the company issuing almost £500m of equity shares as well as benefitting from a new debt facility from existing lenders.

White said: “Agreeing the key commercial terms of the deleveraging plan with our lenders, bonding providers and pension trustee is a significant step forward in our plans to strengthen the balance sheet.

“The board believes that this agreement will secure a strong future for Interserve. This proposal has been achieved following a long period of intensive negotiation and has the support of our financial stakeholders and the Government.

“Its successful implementation is critical to the Interserve Group’s future and all its stakeholders. The deleveraging plan will, alongside our ’Fit for Growth’ transformation programme, place us in a strong position to deliver our strategy, be competitive in the marketplace and provide a secure future for the Interserve Group’s employees, customers and suppliers.”

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