US-owned cable operator Telewest, whose activities are primarily within the British Isles, is set to lighten its £5.3 billion ($8.13bn; €8.37bn) debt burden by nearly half next week.

The company announced Wednesday it is to meet its banks this week to discuss the £2.5bn waiver which will be based on a debt-for-equity swap, the first phase of a total financial restructuring.

When complete, the revamp will see the company, number two in a field of two in the UK cable market, largely owned by its banks and bondholders.

The deal mirrors that recently negotiated by its sole UK cable rival NTL – with which many observers expect Telewest to merge when both sides’ finances are back on the straight and narrow.

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