Telefonica cuts debt with swap

Spain’s Telefonica said yesterday it would slash €776m (£626m) from its €50bn debt after receiving 97 per cent uptake in a swap of preference shares for stocks and bonds. The cash raised will take the Spanish telecoms group closer to its year-end leverage target of 2.35 times operating income. The firm, which must slash debt to hold onto its investment grade rating, has said it will end the year with €50bn debt, compared to €56bn at the end of September.