ITV flatters bondholders

ITV&rsquo;s bondholders have won improved terms on the broadcaster&rsquo;s proposed bond exchange just two days before the offer closes.<br /><br />The struggling broadcaster said that, following discussions with &ldquo;several substantial holders&rdquo; of its 2011 bonds, the new bonds will pay a coupon of 10 per cent rather than the 9 per cent offered previously.<br /><br />The exchange offers bondholders about 70 per cent of new bonds maturing in 2014, and about 30 per cent cash. <br /><br />The exchange may cut debt by up to &euro;150m (&pound;127.2m), ITV has said.<br /><br />The exchange offer will delay ITV&rsquo;s first large refinancing demand, allowing it more time to turn around its business. The company owed &pound;730m at the end of 2008.<br /><br />&ldquo;This sends a fairly challenging signal to the market,&rdquo; said Mark Chapman, an analyst at CreditSights.<br /><br />&ldquo;Since the exchange offer was first announced, market sentiment has weakened slightly and so investors may have backed away from the deal a little.&rdquo;<br /><br />ITV has been struggling with an industry-wide slump in advertising revenues, hitting its share price and sending its debt into junk-rated territory.