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Charter Proposes Big Debt Swap

The offer covers billions of dollars of notes.
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A unit of

Charter Communications

(CHTR) - Get Charter Communications, Inc. Class A Report

is offering to exchange several billion dollars of existing debt for new securities, an announcement that sent the company's shares up more than 30% in premarket trading.

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The St. Louis-based provider of cable TV and Internet services said Wednesday that the exchange offers are meant to improve the financial flexibility of its Charter Communications Holdings LLC unit by extending its debt maturities and reducing what it owes.

Divisions of Charter propose issuing $3.53 billion of new 11% senior secured notes due 2015 for old notes that mature in 2009 and 2010. Of that amount, up to $750 million of notes can be swapped for debt whose terms end in 2011 and 2012.

Charter's units are also offering to issue $4.26 billion of various senior accreting notes due 2014 and 2015 for old 2011 and 2012 notes.

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Shares of Charter climbed 37 cents, or 32%, to $1.52 in action before the opening bell.