Seat Pagine ‘Confident’ on Debt Reorganization, CEO Says

Seat Pagine Gialle SpA (PG) Chief Executive Officer Alberto Cappellini said he’s “confident” Italy’s biggest phone-directory publisher will achieve an “adequate financial structure soon.”

The shares jumped the most in two years. Turin-based Seat Pagine plans to announce “a pool of advisers” to reorganize its debt within days, the CEO said in Milan today. All options are on the table, he said, when asked about a possible debt-for-equity swap.

Seat Pagine, which had net debt of 2.73 billion euros ($3.9 billion) at the end of December, said last month that the board evaluated the financial sustainability of the company. Standard & Poor’s said March 22 that pressures on Seat Pagine’s operating performance led to a downgrade of its credit rating to CCC+, seven steps below investment grade.

Seat hired Rothschild as adviser, said two people familiar with the talks who asked not to be identified because the information is confidential. Junior bondholders hired Lazard Ltd. (LAZ) to assist them in the negotiations, said one of the people.

A Lazard spokesman in London declined to comment, while officials for Rothschild couldn’t immediately be reached.

Seat rose 25 percent to 9.5 euro cents, the biggest gain since April 2009. The company has a market value of 184 million euros.

Seat Pagine said today it signed a commercial partnership with PagesJaunes Groupe SA (PAJ)’s Horyzon Media. Cappellini ruled out a merger plan with the French directories publisher.

The company expects its Internet business to grow by more than 20 percent this year, according to a stock-exchange statement. The publisher’s Internet revenue will match offline sales by 2012, it forecast.

To contact the reporter on this story: Chiara Remondini in Milan at cremondini@bloomberg.net

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Kenneth Wong at kwong11@bloomberg.net.

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