Belfast Telegraph

Former Yell ends listed status with a whimper

By Gideon Spanier

Yellow Pages owner hibu has finally collapsed into the arms of its lenders under £2.3bn of debt, wiping out shareholders and ending its listed company history.

Shares were suspended before trading began at 0.17p – from a peak of 603p in February 2007.

Lenders, including veteran George Soros's Soros Fund Management, will take control in a long-awaited debt-for-equity swap. One third of hibu's 300 lenders have already backed the refinancing, which would see hibu's debt load slashed to £580m, with the lenders owning a further £920m in loans that will be converted to stock later. All the non-executive directors will quit.

Chief executive Mike Pocock was meeting representatives of the lenders yesterday afternoon to present the plan for hibu's survival and said he was "optimistic" the necessary 75% would approve it.

Pocock, who was appointed in 2011 to salvage the company, claimed that hibu's end as a listed company was not all bad news.

"In many respects, it's a good day for us," he insisted.

Hibu was known as Yell until a controversial rebranding last year.

Belfast Telegraph