Yellow Pages publisher Hibu gets waivers from lenders

Fri Aug 31, 2012 7:09pm IST

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(Reuters) - Yellow Pages publisher Hibu Plc HIBU.L said it has obtained the waivers it was seeking on some debt conditions, a necessary step as it works to restructure its debt load.

The news sent shares in the company, formerly known as Yell Group, up as much as 24 percent to 1.28 pence on the London Stock Exchange on Friday afternoon.

Hibu, which asked lenders to form a co-ordinating committee in preparation for a debt restructuring, said earlier this month that completing the restructuring in a timely manner would require a number of waivers from lenders.

The company had net debt of 2.2 billion pounds, as of June 30.

Like other directory publishers, Hibu struggled to stem the slide in print advertising and pare huge debt loads, as more people turn to Internet-based giants like Google Inc (GOOG.O) to find local listings.

The company also recently won a reprieve from Britain's Office of Fair Trading which said restrictions put on the group's Yellow Pages business in 2007, including a cap on advertising rates, may no longer be appropriate.

Shares in the company were up 16.5 percent at 1.19 pence at 1334 GMT on the London Stock Exchange.

(Reporting by Abhishek Takle in Bangalore; Editing by Joyjeet Das)