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Seat Pagine Said to Weigh Adding Senior Bondholders to Talks

Seat Pagine Gialle SpA, Italy’s largest phone-book publisher, may extend a proposal to restructure its debt to senior bondholders, two people familiar with the matter said.

The senior noteholders, who own about 750 million euros ($957 million) of Seat Pagine bonds, may be involved to broaden approval for the plan and avoid possible legal challenges from them, the people said, who asked not to be identified because the deliberations are private. The Turin-based company is discussing a debt-restructuring with its controlling investors, senior lenders including Royal Bank of Scotland Plc, and holders of its junior Lighthouse bonds.

Seat Pagine last month extended the deadline for the acceptance of its restructuring plan by senior lenders to Jan. 16. The company is slated to hold a board meeting on Jan. 17, at which it probably will extend the deadline for an agreement, the people said. Private-equity firms Permira Advisers Ltd., CVC Capital Partners Ltd. and Investitori Associati SpA control about 50 percent of the publisher.

Seat Pagine rose as much as 9.8 percent to 2.69 euro cents and was up 5.3 percent as of 3:24 p.m. in Milan trading. The stock has lost 58 percent in the past six months, giving the company a market value of 50 million euros.

The current proposal includes a debt-for-equity swap for holders of the Lighthouse bonds, which would make them the biggest investors in Seat Pagine. Senior bondholders are arguing that the possible change in control makes them interested parties in the negotiations, according to the people familiar.

Seat Pagine is withholding from paying coupons and interest related to financing agreements, pending the approval from all relevant parties of a restructuring proposal.

A Seat Pagine spokesman declined to comment.

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