Hibu, a company which owns and publishes a wide range of different directories, has been rocked by competition from the internet and has been unable to overcome debts problems.
Arguably the most famous telephone directory in the UK, the Yellow Pages could be taken over by creditors looking to reclaim the amount they were owed, which four years ago stood at an eye-watering £3 billion.
Hibu has managed to repay some of what it owed, but was rocked last year by a loss on the value of some acquisitions, sending it into a £1.3 billion trading loss. Its value on the stockmarket has also plunged to being practically worthless, with shares standing at less than 1p on Friday, compared to 600p just five years ago.
The firm employs more than 13,000 staff and any potential collapse would put many jobs at risk. Hibu believes that it may be close to reaching an agreement with its banking creditors, which include amongst others Royal Bank of Scotland, Deutsche Bank and Goldman Sachs.
The Yellow Pages owner says its banks have already agreed to bypass debt covenant tests, to allow it to keep trading, whilst it tries to reach a solution. Hibu says that it is focussing on its digital operations, as it hopes revenue from this will help to support its directory printing division. It has already set up eMarketplace, an online selling portal, which helps small businesses to conduct transactions online, without having to have their own functional website.
In the meantime, Houlihan Lokey, a US restructuring specialist, is believed to be working with RBS and 399 other investors and banks, to draw up plans to remodel the business going forward.