Yellow Pages owner hibu has agreed terms to restructure its £2.3bn of debt with its banks set to take control.
In an open letter to shareholders, chairman Bob Wigley admitted that shares in hibu were now worthless, and the company stopped trading on the London Stock Exchange this morning.
The deal is subject to the approval of lenders holding 75 percent of the debt. The co-ordinating committee, which reached the agreement with hibu, represents 32.8 percent of the company's debt.
On completion of the restructuring the current board members will leave their positions and a new board of directors of the lender-owned company will be appointed. The new board will include hibu’s current executive directors and new directors representing the interests of the lenders.
This has been a very demanding year for our Group with some difficult and painful decisions made. While I fully recognise that it will be of no consolation to you in your capacity as a shareholder we will have secured the future of the Group, safeguarded the jobs of our 12,000 employees and laid the foundations for a sustainable transformation to a digital business with global capability.
I wish to sincerely thank you all for your support during my tenure as Chairman. As a significant investor in the company’s shares myself I am as disappointed as you will be with the outcome that the restructuring of the debt, which is necessary for the Group’s business survival, cannot proceed with any return to existing shareholders.