STRUGGLING Yellow Pages firm Yell today said it had again extended the deadline to agree a refinancing deal for its £3.8 billion debt.

The directories group has given lenders until 5pm on Wednesday to approve its plans, having failed to win sufficient support by last night’s cut off time.

Yell had already extended the deadline by a week, but while the company has received backing from a high percentage of its 300 creditors, it needs to achieve a 95% approval rate by value to pass the scheme.

Yell wants to raise #500 million through an investor cash-call to pay off some of its debt, while increasing the interest rate payable in return for an extension of the repayment date to 2014.

The firm is also looking to reduce its long-term debt by a further £300 million within 18 months by issuing bonds or equity.

But the route to an agreement has been challenging for the firm because of the sheer number of creditors involved and their lending committees.

According to the Financial Times more than 80% of lenders had accepted the plans by yesterday’s deadline.

It is understood that up to 1% of lenders could fail to support the plan because of legal restrictions on their fund.

Yell racked up its hefty debt pile following acquisitions in Spain and the United States.

The Reading-based group’s current loan facilities expire in April 2011 and 2012 and Yell has been in talks with its lenders over restructuring the debt since the end of June.

Yell turned to creditors to request more headroom for future covenants last year as the recession bore down.

The company has grappled with a sharp fall in advertising revenues caused by the economic downturn.

It reported in July that revenues from its printed directories arm plunged by 17.4% in the quarter to June 30.

Sales at increased, but the 8.6% rise was not enough to offset its hard-copy woes.