Yell extends debt deadline by a week

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The Independent Online

Yell Group will spend the next week trying to convince creditors to support its debt restructuring plan, after pushing back the deadline for support to next Monday.

The heavily indebted directories company called on lenders to back its "comprehensive refinancing" plan last month, and needs approval from those representing 95 per cent of the value of its current term debt facilities.

Yell said its proposals had found "favour with a high percentage" of the lenders in the short time to Friday's deadline and had decided to extend it to 26 October to convince the others.

The group's loan facilities expire in 2011 and 2012, and it has offered to raise £500m through a cash call and offer to increase the interest on the loans in return for the lenders extending the loans until 2014.

John Davis, chief financial officer, said he was "delighted to have had such a positive endorsement of our proposals from so many of our lenders". He said the drive was a "massive logistical exercise" given the large number of lenders. "We are pleased that so many have been able to respond in time. We are now extending the deadline to allow the remaining lenders more time to process our request through their credit committees," he added.

The group, which publishes the Yellow Pages, has been looking to cut its £3.8bn debts in a market where advertising revenues are down and there is a shift towards online publishing.

Shares in the group fell initially before rebounding 0.3p to 61.45p.