Interserve fights to quell stock market jitters
November 14, 2018 – Interserve launched a fightback yesterday after fears about its deteriorating finances saw its share price crash to its lowest level in 30 years.
The debt-ridden contractor saw its shares slump 20% at one point yesterday before rallying to return to yesterdays opening price, still down 10% from Monday’s fall.
The run was fuelled by fears that Interserve was facing problems securing an exit from the loss-making energy from waste plants, particular Derby where its partner on a waste management deal warned it was behind on a commissioning target, exposing it to liquidated damages.
This prompted speculation that Interserve could be forced to find more cash to compensate for delays and would need to issue new shares to help raise funds.
Interserve issued a short statement yesterday afternoon denying it was in crisis after shares sank to a 30p all time low.
It said: “The implementation of the group’s strategy and the Fit for Growth transformation programme remains on track and the group continues to expect a significant operating profit improvement in 2018, in line with management’s expectations.”
The statement spurred a recovery on the day with shares regaining falls to end at around 39p, valuing Interserve at just £59m.
One analyst told the Enquirer: “In one respect it was reassuring that they did not confirm they were in crisis talks with banks as had been rumoured, but there was also no update on the problem energy from waste business or a forecast pre-tax profit or loss.”
The fall in share price leaves the management with an even bigger uphill struggle if they are to have a hope of raising cash through a share issue as was widely expected in 2019.