Yell Group Plc (Yell), a leading international directories business operator, is inching towards refinancing of its staggering debt burden of £3.8 billion, by extending for a third time the deadline for its lenders, for the approval of the restructuring scheme.
On Tuesday, the publisher of yellow pages announced that it had extended the deadline to Wednesday evening 5.00pm. Further to non-receipt of required commitments from its lenders, the cut-off time was further extended to Thursday evening 5.00pm.
Under the restructuring, debt-saddled Yell wants its lenders to extend the repayment of the bulk of its debt in return for paying off approximately £800 million in 18 months. Yell would pay up to 1 per cent additional interest on its bank borrowings in exchange for extending their maturities until 2014.
Yell said that close to 1,000 lenders have given their support to the proposals, representing about 90 per cent by value of the debt, against the required 95 per cent acceptance limit. Acceptances from final two lenders are awaited which are necessary to cross the 95 per cent threshold.
In addition, Yell would require confirmation from of the final count from HSBC as facility agent, following final verification and reconciliation of acceptances.
About 3 per cent by value of debt holders have not accepted the scheme, mainly due to restrictions imposed on them by their fund constitutions.
Yell said if the 95 per cent threshold cannot be reached by its expiry, it may pursue a court-approved scheme of arrangement, which would require all lenders to vote again.