is reportedly close to an agreement to borrow $2.6 billion from its banks as part of a debt restructuring.

The troubled telecommunications company hired J.P. Morgan Chase and Citigroup, two of its lenders, to help it win the extension, executives told

The New York Times

. The banks will probably demand something in return for the loan, possibly an agreement that it be secured by WorldCom assets, the story said.

WorldCom has $8 billion in untapped credit lines from its banks. Executives told the


that the company doesn't need the new money but is seeking it to quell investor concerns that were sparked when the company ousted former Chief Executive Bernard Ebbers.

WorldCom shares were up 9.5% to $2.42 in premarket trading on Instinet.