Tuesday 23 October 2018 | ShareProphets: The one stop source for breaking news, expert analysis, and podcasts on fast-moving AIM and LSE listed shares
When I first commented last October 15th on fully listed Interserve (IRV), it was sacking its old board and in a financial mess, and the shares were around £1. I said sell – and glory be, the shares sit this morning at about 60p after an RNS telling us of a new £35 million contract. The RNS strikes me as getting any good news out it can.
It wasn’t a great week, last week, for shareholders of companies starting with Inter. Whilst Interquest (ITQ) served up an after-hours notice of an EGM with proposals to delist the company and a derisory offer at 24p on Friday (at 5.22pm!), Interserve (IRV) announced at 7am that is was the subject of an FCA investigation regarding its market disclosures between 15 July 2016 and 20 February 2017 in relation to its (now) exited Energy-from-Waste business. I’m completely with Tom Winnifrith on the former. On the latter, however, the FCA seems to be missing its target completely on this issue.
One minute everyone is celebrating the rescue deal to save fully listed Interserve (IRV) and the share rally strongly to peak at over 110p. Now all of a sudden, we are back to 82p. Perhaps it is the 25% dilution at 10p to come which has sunk in – or perhaps it has something to do with a story yesterday in the most excellent Construction News which tells of a horror story at an Energy from Waste project in Glasgow – from which Interserve was sacked in 2016. According to the report, Interserve could be on the hook for £95 million. The silence form Interserve if deafening.
Shares in fully listed Interserve (IRV) have shot up on the almost after-hours announcement last night of some scant details of a rescue refinancing. The good news is that someone is putting up the bunce (subject to credit approvals), but at what cost?
I see that today’s Telegraph is reporting that Emerald Investment Partners (and the man behind it, Alan McIntosh) in emerging as a key player in the refinancing discussion of fully-listed Interserve (IRV). We are told that Emerald has pledged to back the refinancing, which is very good news. The last thing we want to see is another Carillion-style collapse.
I haven’t commented on fully listed Interserve (IRV) for a while. This, of course, is another outsourcing company doing our blessed government’s good works for it – and, like Carillion (RIP) is struggling with its debt (albeit we are to believe to a lesser extent). It is also a company which has delivered less than complete clarity. But it is under new management. So I wonder why the shares (now down to just 64.9p to sell as at Friday’s close) have again been slipping.
I noted yesterday that shares in fully-listed Interserve (IRV) seemed to be in free fall. At time of writing they were down 15% and they dropped further at the close. There was no RNS, nor any news I could find. Following a spot of digging, the FCA spreadsheet of net short positions shows a spot of recent activity: why?
I realise that there may be a spot of nervousness in the market at the moment – especially in the wake of disasters at Carillon and Capita. Does that explain why shares in fully-listed Interserve (IRG) are off by 15% today, with no RNS announced?
I read with interest that fully listed Interserve (IRV) some good news in its RNS on Wednesday of this week. It has secured £180 million of short term funding to the end of March, and an agreement to defer covenant tests on its borrowing also until the end of March. Great news! Well, sort of. The problem – as revealed by Sky News (see HERE) later the same day - is that there were conditions which were not mentioned by the company.
Fully listed Interserve plc (IRV) has announced the departure of its support services managing director, Mr Bruce Melizan. He has stepped down from the Board and will stick around until the end of January to effect a handover. A second announcement describes the severance package….I wish I had one of those!
Shares in main market-listed Interserve (IRV) have been falling today, last seen down a thumping 8.2% - quite a drop for a £106 million company when there has been no news. One wonders why.
Yesterday revelations on Sky and a company statement made clear that all is not well at Interserve (IRV), for all the positive noises about constructive discussions with its lenders, Sky revealed that a syndicate of lenders including Royal Bank of Scotland and HSBC had called in Ernst and Young amid fears about the balance sheet. Noting also that the balance sheet is painfully thin, as per its recent interims statement, and the calamitous profit warning last month suggesting that the company had no idea of the eventual magnitude of the provision needed associated with its exit from its energy-from-waste business, as well as questions over current trading and you already have pretty good reasons to get out.
A little bit more of a look at main market listed Interserve (IRV) simply serves to underline my comment earlier that it is a sell.
Main market listed Interserve (IRV) has followed up its profit warning of 14 September with a statement today that it is in constructive and ongoing discussions with its lenders. The word constructive may sound positive, but I fancy it is anything but: the 14 September warning said that the Board continues to believe that the group will be able to operate within its banking covenants. Oh, and the CFO stepped down on 30 September 2017, as announced on 30 June – except that it looks like that was after a nudge.
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