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Last Updated: Monday, 15 September, 2003, 18:17 GMT 19:17 UK
Telewest signs debt-swap deal
Cable company Telewest has agreed the final terms of its 3.5bn ($5.6bn) debt restructuring, in a deal that will hand almost complete ownership of the firm to holders of its bonds.

Under the debt-for-equity swap, shareholders are left with just 1.5% of Telewest.

The swap has secured the crucial agreement of bondholders, despite reports that it might have to be seriously amended.

But it must now be approved by 26 banks, which are together owed some 2bn.

Also in question is the firm's base of operations, which some bondholders reportedly hope could be moved to New York, where the firm's shares were listed.

The debt deal, although still provisional, effectively spares Telewest from Chapter 11 bankruptcy.

This comes as a relief to bondholders, whose control would have been eroded under the arrangement.

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