Mexican mobile and long-distance operator Grupo Iusacell has launched an offer to swap USD350 million in bonds as part of its debt restructuring plan announced earlier this year. Iusacell plans to exchange outstanding notes due in 2006 for new notes due 2013. Including interest forgiveness, the restructuring will write down more than half of the debt that local businessman Ricardo Salinas Pliego took on when he acquired 74% of Iusacell for USD7.4 million from Verizon and Vodafone in 2003. The exchange offer expires on 18 May. The company says that if bonds are not swapped voluntarily by that date, the transaction will be completed through bankruptcy proceedings.