Debt-stricken outsourcer Interserve may have to stump up another £66m if its largest shareholder triumphs in a plan to thwart a rescue deal struck last week.
The emergency refinancing package, designed to avoid it facing the same fate as Carillion, sparked ire among at least one-third of its shareholders, because it proposed all but wiping out their stake in the firm.
If the deal does not win the approval of 50 per cent of investors in a vote next month, the firm would be forced to pay the £66m to lenders including RBS, HSBC and BNP Paribas, according to Sky News.
Interserve would also reportedly have to repay tens of millions of pounds if chief financial officer Mark Whiteling is removed from the board, as lead shareholder Coltrane Asset Management has demanded.
Last week Coltrane, a 27 per cent shareholder in the firm, launched a bid to oust all members of the outsourcer's board except chief executive Debbie White after the firm announced the details of its deleveraging plan.
Then, earlier this week, the chairman of 6.2 per cent shareholder Farringdon Capital Management told City A.M. his firm was “supporting the efforts of Coltrane”.
Workers at the NHS and the Foreign Office are among Interserve’s 45,000 UK employees, and 70 per cent of its annual £3.2bn turnover comes from the government. Despite this, its stock has fallen so far in the last year the firm is only worth £17m.
Among its contracts, it carries out maintenance on 1,100 offices and depots for the Department of Transport. It also provides school meals, facilities management and construction work.
Interserve was not immediately available for comment.