ITV attempts to cut debt through bond swap offer

ITV HAS offered holders of its &euro;500m (&pound;425m) fixed rate notes the chance to exchange them for a mix of cash and new notes, as it attempts to reduce debt and refinancing risk.<br /><br />The broadcaster said it wanted to cut its &pound;730m debt pile by redeeming 30 per cent of the notes, due in 2011, early.<br /><br />Holders of the bonds, which have a coupon of six per cent, will be offered an exchange at around 30 per cent cash and 70 per cent new euro-denominated bonds, due in 2014 with a coupon of 9 per cent. The exchange will also have the effect of cutting its debt maturities due in the next three years, ITV added.<br /><br />Britain&rsquo;s leading free-to-air commercial broadcaster, which has been hit by a downturn in advertising revenues, ruled a rights issue out in April, but has been seeking other options to shore up its balance sheet.<br /><br />ITV&rsquo;s shares closed up two per cent yesterday at 37p.