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Minority shareholders to oppose SoLocal debt restructuring

PARIS, Aug 2 (Reuters) - A group of minority shareholders on Tuesday said it would oppose a debt restructuring unveiled this week by French online communication and directories company SoLocal, previously known as PagesJaunes.

SoLocal plans to issue new shares to raise 784 million euros ($880 million) and along with a partial debt for equity swap reduce its 1.164 billion euros of debt to 400 million by the end of the year.

However, the shareholders’ group called Regroupement PPLocal, representing 1,100 investors and around 15 percent of the equity, said it would oppose the restructuring “using all possible legal means.”

“The Association finds that the management’s project is unacceptable and totally unbalanced,” it said in a statement.

The plan, it argues, would seriously dilute the holdings of minority shareholders. To proceed the company needs the backing of shareholders and creditors. It is scheduled to hold an investor day on Aug.31.

Nobody at SoLocal was immediately available for comment.

Trading in the shares of SoLocal was suspended on Monday and is due to resume on Thursday at the company’s request.

The share price has fallen by more than 50 percent since the beginning of the year and currently values SoLocal at 132 million euros. ($1 = 0.8910 euros) (Reporting by Astrid Wendlandt; Editing by Greg Mahlich)

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