The Foreign & Commonwealth Office has appointed Denmark’s ISS to manage the properties associated with 28 diplomatic missions in 14 countries in the Asia Pacific and India.
ISS, whose private owners are working on a £5bn-plus float or sale of the business, will provide a range of services including security, cleaning, answering the phone and running the back office for high commissions and embassies.
The seven-year contract also spans almost 700 associated residential properties, including Ambassadors’ and High Commissioners’ official residences in countries including Australia, China and Japan.
Simon Fraser, the FCO’s permanent under secretary, said: “In the current financial climate, the need to deliver savings and for us to focus on delivering core FCO business, has never been greater.” The FCO expects minimum savings of £7m from the contract.
Jeff Gravenhorst, ISS chief executive, said the contract illustrated “the growing trend towards global and regional outsourcing of non-core activities to a specialist integrated facilities services provider”.
The FCO let a smaller outsourcing contract in 2008 to Interserve to manage facilities in the UK and across 14 diplomatic missions in Europe.
At least seven private equity firms have signed non-disclosure agreements associated with a possible bid for ISS, which is running a dual-track sale or float process. The Danish company is owned by Goldman Sachs and Sweden’s EQT