Interserve Seesaws as Carillion Collapse Said to Prompt Scrutiny

A logo is seen in front of cranes standing on a Carillion construction site in central London

The head of Britain's GMB union, who met with business minister Greg Clark on Tuesday, said the government needed to allow more time for the 8,500 workers it estimates are now vulnerable.

Shares of Interserve Plc seesawed Wednesday on a report that the United Kingdom contractor is under government scrutiny after the collapse of rival Carillion Plc.

"We monitor the financial health of all of our strategic suppliers, including Interserve".

It cost more that anticipated for the firm to exit from the waste-to-energy business, while its construction and services traded below expectations last summer.

A spokesperson for the the Cabinet Office said the government doesn't believe any suppliers are in a comparable position to Carillion and it monitors the financial health of all of its contractors, including Interserve.

It last week issued a statement on its finances which said its 2018 operating profit was "expected to be ahead of current market expectations" but that "constructive discussions with lenders over longer-term funding are progressing".

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Interserve, which has around 80,000 staff worldwide - 25,000 of them in the United Kingdom - saw its chief executive quit in the a year ago ahead of a profit warning last September which left shares losing more than half their value.

Interserve's website shows local government, education, health and transport among 21 fields in which the company operates.

Sector peer Carillion went into forced liquidation on Monday after the heavily indebted company failed to secure a financial rescue deal from banks.

The British government has faced criticism after it was revealed Carillion continued to win public sector contracts after issuing several profit warnings.

Shadow Cabinet Office minister Jon Trickett said: "The Government awarded Interserve numerous contracts after significant profit warnings, clearly showing us that Carillion was not an isolated case. But there are businesses to sell and we believe that shareholders would support a raise".

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