ATLANTA ( TheStreet) -- Georgia Gulf ( GGC) shares surged by as much as 130% Thursday after the company said it cut its debt load in half. The chemical maker said it reached a restructuring milestone through a debt-for-equity exchange. It accepted about $736 million, or 92%, in aggregate principal amount of senior notes in exchange for convertible preferred and common stock. Georgia Gulf said the debt swap allowed it to extinguish about $726 million of the notes' aggregate principal, along with the company's accrued interest. The news pushed Georgia Gulf to the top of the New York Stock Exchange's list of biggest advancers. In late afternoon trading, the stock had eased back a bit, changing hands at $16.12, up $8.0, or 123%, on volume of 2.4 million shares. Average daily turnover is about 470,000. Reported by Jeanine Poggi in New York.