Telewest Secures New Credit, But Debt Deal Delayed

17 January 2003

US-owned Telewest, Britain’s second-largest cable operator, faces further delays in its attempt to swap £3.5 billion ($5.6bn; €5.3m) of debt for equity.

The restructuring scheme, under which bondholders will take a 97% stake in the company, has not yet been approved by current shareholders Liberty Media and Deutsche Telekom, both of which own around 10% of Telewest.

It has not been disclosed why the duo have yet to greenlight the deal, though it is thought that Liberty is demanding representation on the board.

Also impeding progress is a group led by Crédit Agricole, which is refusing to take part in the scheme and wants its £33m debt repaid.

However, there is some good news for Telewest, which has secured a £2.16bn overdraft to ensure it has sufficient funding during the restructuring process. The new credit facility, which lasts until the end of 2005, replaces a £2.25bn overdraft the cable firm was to begin repaying in December.

Data sourced from: Times Online (UK); additional content by WARC staff