Interserve break-up nears completion as Tilbury Douglas builds separate future | Business News


The break-up of what was once one of Britain’s biggest outsourcing conglomerates is nearing completion after Tilbury Douglas, the construction company, was carved out of Interserve Group.

Sky News understands that Interserve’s shareholders have agreed a deal to separate Tilbury Douglas, one of the industry’s oldest names, to become a standalone business.

It will continue to be owned by Interserve investors including Davidson Kempner Capital Management, while the outsourcer’s pension trustees will also hold an equity stake, according to people close to the deal.

Tilbury Douglas is a major public sector contractor, and counts a string of Whitehall departments among its major customers.

The separation agreement, which is expected to be announced this week, comes months after Kier Group, the London-listed construction company, ended talks about a takeover of Tilbury Douglas.

More than £80m is understood have been injected into Interserve’s pension scheme since the parent company went into administration just over three years ago.

Tilbury Douglas recorded gross revenues in 2020 of £430m, with pre-tax profit of £14.3m.

The following, pandemic-affected, year saw those numbers change to £509m and £6m respectively.

Its current order book stands at more than £1bn, according to one insider.

Following the separation from Interserve, Nick Pollard will remain as chair of Tilbury Douglas and Paul Gandy will continue as its chief executive.

A number of smaller asset sales out of Interserve Group will proceed, with the winding-up of the company expected to take place in 2024.

Interserve has already sold the remainder of its operations, including its support services arm to Mitie, the rival outsourcing group.

Last year the jewel in its crown, equipment services arm RMD Kwikform, was sold to France’s Altrad Group.

At its largest, Interserve employed more than 45,000 people in the UK.

The company declined to comment.


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