MILAN, March 4 Shareholders in Italy's Seat
Pagine Gialle gave the go ahead on Tuesday for a plan
aimed at relaunching the heavily indebted Italian yellow pages
publisher, allowing creditors to take control of the struggling
Measures voted by shareholders include a near 20 million
euro cash call reserved for creditors that will see current
investors diluted to just 0.25 percent of capital.
Royal Bank of Scotland and bondholders will forego
debt of around 650 million euros ($893 million) and 837 million
euros respectively to become the new owners of the company.
Cash-strapped Seat, which has a market value of 26 million
euros, is caught up in a long drawn-out Italian-led court
restructuring, similar to Chapter 11 bankruptcy, that has
already caused losses for lenders.
The company, once the darling of the dot.com era, has
struggled to manage its debt pile following a 5.7 billion euro
buyout in 2003 by private equity companies CVC, Permira and
The mountain of debt taken on by a series of private equity
owners became increasingly difficult to handle amid the global
Like other directories firms, including France's PagesJaunes
and Yell in Britain, Seat has been struggling to reduce debts
and fight competition from Internet search giants such as Google
Shareholders on Tuesday also voted to file a legal action
against 17 former board members at the group, accusing them of
causing damage of around 2.4 billion euros in the period
2003-2012. In a joint statement, the former board members in
question rejected the accusation as groundless.
At the end of October Seat had debt of more than 1.4 billion