December 19, 2018 / 10:19 AM / 9 months ago

UPDATE 1-Interserve merges two units to simplify structure

(Adds details, share price, background)

Dec 19 (Reuters) - Interserve Plc has merged two of its businesses to simplify its organization, the British support services and construction firm said on Wednesday, days after starting rescue talks with creditors.

The company said it combined its citizen services division, which handles everything from rehabilitation of low-risk offenders to education and workplace training and nursing care, with its support services unit that manages outsourced facilities.

The support services unit is managed directly by Interserve CEO Debbie White.

In addition, Yvonne Thomas, the managing director of the citizen services business, will leave Interserve at the end of December to set up a new venture, the company said.

The Reading-based outsourcer, which has a 75,000-strong global workforce and thousands of UK government contracts to clean hospitals and serve school meals, said last week it would seek to cut its debt to 1.5 times of its core earnings as part of talks with lenders.

Interserve shares, which have fallen more than 86 percent so far this year, were down 6.5 percent at 13.35 pence at 1002 GMT. (Reporting by Arathy S Nair in Bengaluru; Editing by Sai Sachin Ravikumar)

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