Infrastructure giant Carillion is to offload the bulk of its healthcare division to Serco for £47.7m.
Carillion, which is embroiled in an ongoing crisis that has involved a string of profits warnings and the departure of its chief executive, said the deal is part of its plan to offload £300m of non-core assets, PA reports.
The disposals are aimed at reducing the firm’s debt. Carillion’s portfolio of UK healthcare facilities management contracts and assets include 15 sites that will be transferred to Serco on a phased basis.
In November, the HS2 contractor issued its latest profit warning and said it would breach its debt covenants, which resulted in another share price collapse.
The firm said at the time that annual profits would be “materially lower than current market expectations” as it grappled with a string of delays and smaller-than-expected improvements to margins on certain contracts.
Despite efforts to drive down costs, haul in cash and push through disposals, the group said it would fail to hit its net debt to earnings ratio of 1 to 1.5 times by the end of 2018.
It came after the firm posted half-year losses of £1.15bn.
Carillion, which has about 43,000 staff worldwide, has seen its former boss, Richard Howson, step down – with Andrew Davies lined up to take the helm.
Interim boss Keith Cochrane said of the Serco deal: “I am pleased we have been able to successfully conclude this transaction which will contribute to our efforts to reduce net debt.”