Britain’s Telewest Defaults on £63m Interest Repayments

04 November 2002

Telewest, Britain’s number two cable operator, last week defaulted on £63 million (€99m ; €99m) of bond interest repayments as it seeks to secure support for a massive debt-for-equity swap.

The default was expected, and is considered a sign that US-owned Telewest is nearing agreement with its creditors over the restructuring scheme, which will see bondholders take a sizeable stake in the company in place of what they are owed.

However, not all lenders are happy. Following the default, Crédit Agricole filed a petition with the High Court to have Telewest wound up for not making the scheduled £10.5m payment to the French bank.

However, this move is seen as more of a negotiating ploy than an actual attempt to bring down the cable operator. It is thought Crédit Agricole may prefer a cash sum than a stake in the restructured group.

Certainly, Telewest did not seem alarmed by the development, saying it would not “delay or significantly impede the restructuring process.”

Data sourced from: multiple sources; additional content by WARC staff