Monday 18 March 2019 7:18 pm

Interserve wins £76m oil and gas contract despite falling into administration days ago

An Interserve subsidiary has won a $100m (£76m) contract to carry out maintenance on oil and gas sites in Abu Dhabi, days after its parent company was forced into administration.

The outsourcer will replace firewater pumps and liquid sulphur loading systems at offshore and onshore sites owned by Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (ADNOC).

Read more: Mitie closes in on Interserve support services arm

ADNOC is the state-owned oil company of the United Arab Emirates, which holds the seventh-largest proven reserves of oil in the world at 97.8bn barrels. Most of these reserves are in Abu Dhabi.

Interserve’s subsidiary, Adyard Group, has been awarded the contract, despite the administration of its parent company on Friday after shareholders voted down a plan designed to relieve most of its £630m debt pile, which would have seen their collective stake in the company diluted to five per cent.

The firm today embarked on a new chapter as a private company, as its shares were removed from the London Stock Exchange after the administration. Its share value had plummeted nearly 95 per cent in the last year from a high of 117p to 6p when stocks were suspended on Friday.

The administration was managed by EY, and saw ownership of the firm transferred to its lenders, which include high street bank RBS and US hedge fund Davidson Kempner.

Around 70 per cent of Interserve’s £2.9bn revenue business – which includes catering, cleaning and security services – is for public sector clients such as the Foreign Office and other government departments.

The firm had assured workers and suppliers it would be “business as usual” when they returned to work this morning.

But a “relatively small number of suppliers” to Interserve Plc, the parent company under which its many other businesses operate, could face disruption from the insolvency, according to administrator EY.

“These are the likes of IT, property related and professional advisor suppliers,” the firm told City A.M.

Read more: Interserve falls into administration as shareholders reject rescue deal

The purchaser will contact these suppliers this week to “agree terms to continue with their supply,” EY said. A pot of £600,000 has been allocated to cover the claims of these so-called unsecured creditors.

The news was first reported by the Financial Times.

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