Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Yellow Media Shakes Up Board, Cancels Preferred Shares Dividend to Pay Down Debt: Yellow Media Shakes Up Board, Cuts Dividend

Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Yellow Media Shakes Up Board, Cancels Preferred Shares Dividend to Pay Down Debt: Yellow Media Shakes Up Board, Cuts Dividend

Article excerpt

MONTREAL - Yellow Media Inc. announced a shakeup in its board of directors Thursday, bringing in experts in restructuring and corporate finance as it struggles to pay down heavy debt and transition to a digital company.

"These new members collectively bring extensive knowledge of corporate finance and corporate development, as well as strategy within the technology media and telecom industries," chief executive Marc Tellier told a conference call Thursday.

The three new directors are David Leith, chairman of MTS Allstream and Manitoba Telecom Services; Bruce Robertson, who serves as principal at Grandview Capital, and Craig Forman who serves as executive chairman of Appia Inc, a provider of independent mobile applications.

Robertson, a former senior managing partner at Brookfield Asset Management Inc., was appointed by AbitibiBowater in 2009 as its chief restructuring officer to help the troubled forestry concern work its way out of bankruptcy protection.

The publisher of the Yellow Pages print and online directories also announced Thursday that it was cancelling the dividend on its preferred shares. Yellow Media had already cancelled the dividend on common shares last September to help improve its financial position and pay down debt.

Yellow Media said it reduced its total debt by about $800 million in 2011 with the help of the proceeds from its sale of Trader Corp., home of AutoTrader magazine. But it still has about $1.5 billion of net debt.

Yellow Media (TSX:YLO) said it has been evaluating alternatives -- including issuing debt, equity, securities or other transactions -- to refinance debt that matures this year and beyond.

"The board of directors of Yellow Media has established a committee of independent directors to serve as the financing committee of the board that will oversee this process with the objective of completing any transaction or transactions during the current fiscal year," Tellier told analysts.

"At this time, the board of directors has decided to suspend the dividends on the outstanding series of preferred shares," Yellow Media said after reporting it earned $109. …

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