18 March 2019 | Herpreet Kaur Grewal
Interserve's rivals have been showing interest in buying up its most profitable division - its support services arm, according to unconfirmed news reports.
News reports in various media including Sky News (which first reported it) and City A.M. state that Mitie's chief executive Phil Bentley is "understood to be interested in a potential buyout worth between £100 million and £150 million, but Interserve's owners are likely to value the £1.7 billion revenue support services business at more than double this price".
Rival Serco was also considering a bid, according to City A.M.
Chief executive Rupert Soames is understood to be "watchful and interested in the support services business in the interests of maintaining public services", said the report.
Last Friday, administrators were appointed and the sale of Interserve to its lenders was completed.
In a statement the same day, the newly owned company said that it is "business as usual for employees, customers, suppliers, and other stakeholders".
The sale of the group was completed "immediately following the appointment of the administrators", thus "minimising any disruption to the business, providing continuity for customers and suppliers, and protecting the group's employees (including the beneficiaries of the group's pension schemes)".
Debbie White, CEO of Interserve Group, was quoted in the company's statement as follows: "With a stronger financial platform in place, Interserve will be able to concentrate on delivering value for our customers.
"The group's transformation programme will continue, focused on improving our value propositions for customers, standardising our operational delivery, making Interserve simpler and more efficient through our Fit for Growth initiatives, and embedding a culture of ownership and openness throughout the group.
"Interserve is fundamentally a strong business and with a competitive financial platform in place we see significant opportunities ahead as a best-in-class partner to the public and private sector."
Facilitate has approached Mitie, Serco and Interserve's administrators, EY, for comment.