Creditors poised to seize Hibu

Yellow PagesPhonebook publisher Yellow Pages could fall into the hands of hedge funds, banks and bondholders within weeks under a sweeping debt overhaul.

Creditors are poised to seize control of Hibu, the Reading-based owner of Yellow Pages, in a deal which would wipe out shareholders and more than halve its £2 billion debt pile, The Sunday Times reported.
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The debt-for-equity plan would see more than 300 creditors become new owners of the former FTSE 100 Index group, which last year changed its name from Yell.

The group has been hampered by slumping revenues amid intense competition from internet search engines, while it staggers under a heavy debt pile built up by an overseas acquisition spree.
Hibu had debts of more than £2 billion at the end of 2012, and the deal with lenders is expected to see them write off as much as £1.5 billion in return for ownership of the business. That would see the group, which has about 13,000 employees, quit the stock market.

Much of its debt matures next April, and Hibu has said its shares are likely to have "little or no value". Its creditors reportedly include Soros Fund Management and Deutsche Bank.

Hibu expects to announce the debt deal on the same day as it announces results for the year to the end of March.

The group, which earned revenues of £1.6 billion in the year to the end of March 2012, has a stock market value of just £9.5 million.

It has about 1.2 million customers and its operations span the UK, US, Spain and parts of Latin America. It has been rolling out its eMarketplace, which provides small businesses with the infrastructure to sell online without having to set up their own website, as it battles slumping print revenues.

The company declined to comment.

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Creditors poised to seize Hibu

Not many companies have films made about them. But the story of social networking site Facebook attracted enough attention to interest Hollywood, resulting in the 2010 film The Social Network. The interest was not just due to the immense popularity of the Facebook website, which was created in its earliest form by Harvard University student Mark Zuckerburg in 2004, though. It was also a result of the legal wrangling between Zuckerburg and fellow Harvard students Divya Narendra and Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss, who founded the social networking site ConnectU and accused Zuckerberg - who worked for them before creating Facebook - of copying their ideas and coding. In something of a damp squib ending, however, the case was dismissed due to a technicality in March 2007 without a ruling being made.

Most of the companies on this list are household names. However, comparatively few people have heard of Olam International, despite it being one of the world's largest agricultural commodity companies.

In fact, it produces enough cotton to keep everyone in the world in socks (three pairs per person, per year).

Fans of chocolate bars such as Mars are also sure to have consumed chocolate made from beans handled by Olam - they just don't realise it.

Headquartered in Singapore, Olam was founded in 1989. It now purchases ingredients such as coffee and cocoa from around 3.5 million smallholder famers based in emerging markets around the world. This enables it to work with communities in rural Africa and Asia on everything from productivity to environmental impact, resulting in a potentially huge impact on some of the world's poorest people.

Love them or hate them, Starbucks coffee shops are everywhere nowadays. Hardly surprising when you consider that the company has opened an average of two stores a day since 1987 (despite having to close some locations down too).
However, back in 1971 there was just one Starbucks coffee shop, in Seattle, Washington.
Named after Starbuck, the first mate on the whaling ship in the novel Moby Dick, the shop originally sold roasted coffee, but did not brew coffee to sell.
Now, though, you can get everything from a blueberry muffin to a mocha frappuccino from your local Starbucks store.

According to the company the white ribbon was introduced under the name in 1969. When competitors first entered the market, Coke made much of its curved bottle design which distinguished it from those that followed. As fewer and fewer people drank from bottles, the ribbon was produced as an alternative distinctive curve.

According to mokokoma, the apple is the fruit of the tree of knowledge. There is some question as to whether the bite taken out of it is a play on the word byte, symbolism of the fruit being eaten and the knowledge imparted, or just to make it look more like an apple and less like a cherry tomato.

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