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Hibu Plc (HIBU)

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Thursday 17 October, 2013

Hibu Plc

Announcement of future Board changes

RNS Number : 7262Q
hibu plc
17 October 2013




For Immediate Release                                                                                   17 October, 2013



hibu plc
("hibu" or the "Group")

Announcement of future Board changes


hibu plc today announces Board changes associated with the current financial restructuring.


The Chairman of the Board, Bob Wigley, and Chief Executive Officer, Mike Pocock, together with the current non-executive directors, will stand down following completion of the financial restructuring. hibu is pleased to confirm that both Mr Wigley and Mr Pocock have agreed to remain in their current roles and to continue to lead the business until the restructuring process is complete, which is currently expected to be early in 2014. The Group continues to make steady progress on the implementation of the financial restructuring, the headlines of which were announced on 25 July 2013. Trading continues broadly in line with the trends for FY14 announced on 25 July 2013 and a financial update for the three months to 30 September 2013 will be announced during the week commencing 28 October 2013.


Following completion of the financial restructuring, Alfred Mockett is set to be appointed as Chairman of the Board of the newly restructured lender-owned group. At this stage Mr Pocock's successor has not been appointed. Tony Bates will continue in his role as Chief Financial Officer in the newly restructured group.


Bob Wigley commented:


"Mike was brought in to lead the Group through its transformation process, to resolve its debt burden and to re-position the Group for future growth. During his tenure, Mike and the management team have significantly reduced the debt burden and the cost base of the company, whilst developing and implementing a digital business strategy that is providing the foundations for future growth. hibu has become a leading player in the field of website design, e-commerce, search, display and magazines for SMEs globally.


"Since joining hibu (then Yell Group plc), with its £4bn debt burden, I have worked tirelessly with the new management I recruited to restructure the balance sheet and give the business and its 12,000 employees a prosperous future. I look forward to completing the restructuring, delivering this objective and an orderly transition to the lenders' nominated team to take the business forward."


Mike Pocock commented:


"During this challenging period, we have remained focused on delivering the restructuring whilst implementing and executing our transformational strategy and I am pleased with the progress that our entire management team has made in such a difficult environment. Today's announcement will enable an orderly leadership transition that is in the best interests of our customers, suppliers and employees and I look forward to leading the company to the completion of the restructuring. I would like to thank Bob Wigley for his careful stewardship as Chairman of the Board."


Commenting on this new phase of hibu's restructuring, Alfred Mockett said:


"hibu has enjoyed the proud heritage of a loyal customer base and a compelling business proposition. I look forward to working with the new owners, the Board and management in restoring hibu to an equally successful position in the digital world."


During Mockett's 30-plus year career, he has held CEO and executive leadership positions at a number of leading technology, telecommunications and professional services companies, such as:


·     CEO of Dex One Corporation, a provider of print and digital marketing solutions;

·     Chairman and CEO of Motive, Inc., a leading provider of software management services to communications providers;

·     Chairman and CEO of American Management Systems, a global business and information technology consulting firm for the U.S. and state governments, financial services and communications industries;

·     BT Group (formerly British Telecom), where during a 10-year career he held a number of senior management positions with oversight for several operating units including mobile, Yellow Pages, business and global communications and BT Ignite, data and broadband solutions for businesses; and

·     President of Memorex Telex, a global provider of information technology solutions.


Note: As announced on 25 July 2013, hibu has agreed terms for a proposed restructuring of the Group's balance sheet with the Co-ordinating Committee of the Group's lenders.  That announcement stated that a new group holding company owned by the Group's lenders will become the owner of the key subsidiaries of hibu plc and that as part of the financial restructuring, the holding company hibu plc will be placed into administration. The financial restructuring will not result in any payment being made to the holders of hibu plc shares or leave those shares with any value. The financial restructuring remains subject to clearance by the UK Pensions Regulator in relation to the arrangements for the future funding of the Group's UK pension plan and the Group's lenders approving a series of schemes of arrangement necessary to implement the restructuring.



About hibu


hibu helps communities thrive by facilitating millions of connections each year between consumers who want to find products and services locally and the merchants who provide them.

hibu helps merchants compete in the digital world with a broad range of marketing and commerce solutions delivered online and through hibu's direct sales teams. Building on its heritage as a premier directories provider, hibu continues to offer a full range of print- and distribution-based marketing services.

hibu operates in the UK, US, Spain, Argentina, Chile, Peru and US Hispanic markets. In the twelve months to 31 March 2013, hibu had one million SME customers and total revenues of £1.3 billion.

For further information about hibu, visit





RLM Finsbury

Charles Chichester

Tel: + 44 (0) 207 251 3801




Andrew Clatworthy

Tel: +44 (0) 118 358 2838


This information is provided by RNS
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