Interserve director departs

12 February 2019 | By Neil Gerrard

Interserve director Dougie Sutherland is to leave the business from the end of this month and will step down from the board immediately, the company has announced.

Sutherland is managing director of Interserve’s developments division. No reason for his departure has been given.

It follows a call last week by one of Interserve’s major shareholders, Coltrane Master Fund, for eight of directors, including Sutherland, to be removed.

In a ‘requisition notice’, the company said that in addition to Sutherland, it wanted to see the removal of chairman Glyn Barker, chief financial officer Mark Whiteling, and non-executive directors Russell King, Anne Fahy, Nick Salmon, Gareth Edwards, and Nicholas Pollard.

However, it continues to support Debbie White in her role as chief executive.

Barker said: "Dougie joined the board of directors in January 2011. I would like to thank Dougie for his dedication to Interserve and especially his recent contribution to our business transformation programme 'Fit for Growth' integrating the Developments business into Support Services, the integration of the UK and International Construction businesses and the sale of a number of investments and businesses."

White said: "I would like to thank Dougie for his contribution to Interserve over the last 12 years and particularly for his support during the last 18 months, during which time he has led a range of initiatives and changes which will contribute to our future success."

And Sutherland added: "I have enjoyed working for Interserve and while I am leaving the company I am pleased to have contributed to the 'Fit for Growth' programme which I am sure will be a foundation for the future success of the company."

Last week, Interserve agreed a plan with its lenders that will see it reduce its net debt to from around £650m to £275m by issuing £480m of new equity to its creditors.

A total of £350m of existing debt will be allocated to Interserve’s profit-making RMD Kwikform arm, which will remain part of the group. The maturity of the debt will be extended to 2023.

Existing lenders will also provide an additional £75m of new liquidity to Interserve through the provision of a new debt facility with a maturity of 2022.

The deal leaves lenders with control of 97.5% of the company and the finalised plan is expected to be launched within the next few weeks, subject to approval from Interserve’s shareholders.

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