Contractor and construction company Interserve has appointed a chairman with immediate effect.

Alan Lovell is to take over from Glyn Barker, who has stepped down after becoming chairman in 2017.

In March this year Interserve had a rescue package rejected by shareholders in a critical vote.

The result of the vote has triggered a “pre-pack” administration of the company overseen by accountancy firm EY, expected to be initiated by the end of the day, according to reports.

A ‘pre-pack’ administration will see Interserve’s lenders take 100% ownership of the company and is intended to avoid its total collapse, preserving ongoing contracts and avoiding the major disruption as caused by the failure of Carillion in January 2018. Barker had previously warned the company would have ‘nowhere to go’ if the planned rescue deal failed, which was opposed by American investment firms Coltrane and Farringdon, who collectively owned 35% of shares in the company.

Incoming chairman Lovell is a former chief executive of UK construction company Costain, and was at the company during its involvement in the Channel Tunnel consortium. In November 2017 Lovell joined Carillion as a non-executive director, though his reputation as a turnaround expert was not enough to save the company from its collapse less than three months later.

His career also includes spells at Tamar Energy, Infinis, Jarvis, and four years as national chair of the Consumer Council for Water. His other current roles include chairman of Safestyle UK and the senior independent director of SIG.

Interserve chief executive officer, Debbie White, said: “On behalf of the board I would like to thank Glyn Barker for his service as chairman of Interserve. His leadership of the board and valuable counsel has been vital during a period of significant challenge and change for the group. We are delighted to welcome Alan Lovell to Interserve. He brings a wealth of experience and has a strong track record of business improvement and transformation.”

Lovell said: “I am pleased to be joining Interserve at this exciting time. I look forward to working with the board, and with Debbie White and her executive team, to continue delivering Interserve’s transformation and to capitalise on the significant opportunities ahead for the group as a best-in-class partner to the public and private sector. It is a privilege to succeed Glyn, who during his time at Interserve has made a tremendous contribution to the group. I wish him the very best for the future.”