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Hibu Plc (HIBU)

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Thursday 25 July, 2013

Hibu Plc

Restructuring Update

RNS Number : 1000K
hibu plc
25 July 2013
 



 

 

For Immediate Release                                                                                25 July 2013

 

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

Restructuring update

hibu plc announces that it has agreed terms for a proposed restructuring of the Group's balance sheet with the Co-ordinating Committee of lenders ("CoCom"). The terms are subject to the approval of lenders holding 75% of the Group's debt.

 

Under the terms of the proposed financial restructuring the lenders will exchange their £2.3 billion debt in return for:

 

·     All of the equity in a new group holding company which will become the owner of the key subsidiaries of hibu plc

·     c. £580 million of five year, multi-currency, non-amortising, senior secured debt

·     c. £920 million of ten year, multi-currency, non-amortising loan capital in the form of a Payment in Kind (PIK) instrument

·     Interest rates of 1% fixed on c. £1 billion of debt and 5% over interbank reference rates on the balance

·     Quarterly sweeps of available surplus cash to lenders above the liquidity needs of the Group

 

The CoCom has also concluded an agreement with the Trustees of the Group's UK Pension Plan which includes provisions for the sharing of Group cash flows and annual contributions to be paid by the Group to the Plan. This agreement has been submitted for clearance by the Pensions Regulator with the support of the Trustees.

 

Mike Pocock, Chief Executive Officer of hibu, said:

 

"With today's announcement, lenders have endorsed hibu's strategic plan and have structured the terms of the agreement accordingly. The proposed restructuring will allow hibu to focus on consolidating its leading position in the provision of marketing solutions to our one million SME customers. The new capital structure is intended to support the business as it drives value from print and digital directories and develops its digital strategy. Benefits to the Group of the restructuring proposal will include a reduction in debt and cash interest, and an extension of debt maturities."

 

A meeting has been convened to advise lenders of the principal terms of the restructuring.

 

The CoCom, which together represents 32.8% of the Group's debt, supports this restructuring, subject to credit committee approval. The support of the wider lender group will be required and once granted, the Group will apply for Court approval of the restructuring under a series of Schemes of Arrangement. Closing of the transaction is expected to take place in the fourth quarter of the current calendar year.

 

As previously announced, a number of capital structure options had been under consideration. The Group can confirm that the terms of the restructuring allow for no payment to shareholders and that the shares of hibu plc have no value. The Board of Directors has therefore taken the decision to suspend the listing of shares in hibu plc and the trading of those shares on the London Stock Exchange with effect from 07:30 BST today.

 

Once the Schemes of Arrangement are approved by the lenders and the Court, it is expected that the shares will be delisted. The current Board members will leave their positions and a new board of directors of the lender-owned company will be constituted and appointed. The new board will include hibu's current executive directors and new directors representing the interests of the lenders.

 

                                                                       Ends

                                                                          

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 enables consumers to find local businesses and shop in new, innovative ways whether online, on the move or in store. 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 12 months to 31 March 2013, hibu had one million SME customers and total revenues of £1.3 billion.

 

For further information about hibu, visit corporate.hibu.com.

 

Enquiries

hibu - Investors

Andrew Clatworthy

Tel: +44 (0) 118 358 2838

RLM Finsbury

Andrew Dowler or Charles Chichester

Tel: + 44 (0) 207 251 3801

 


This information is provided by RNS
The company news service from the London Stock Exchange
 
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