In a filing with the US Securities and Exchange Commission, New York-quoted Excel confirmed reports that covenant waivers have been extended through 31 March 2013.

“The company’s access to the escrowed funds has been similarly extended,” it added in reference to the $20m that was set aside to help fund an equity raising component of a tentative debt deal stuck last year.

“Mana­gement continues, and expects to make progress in, its discussion with all of the company’s lenders.”

Excel did not say when it intends to report third or fourth-quarter earnings from 2012, which is fuelling ongoing uncertainty about the Athens-based operator’s future.

As we reported, some in the finance markets believe it is increasingly likely that the parties privy to the Excel drama, like Nordea and Credit Suisse, are discussing what form of Chapter 11 bankruptcy reorganisation will be needed to cure its financial maladies.

Others caution, however, that some sort of solution outside of a bankruptcy filing remains possible, with one source citing the unpredictability of chairman Gabriel “Villy” Panayotides himself as the best evidence that no single outcome is guaranteed.

Excel has more than $1bn in bank debt and $150m in convertible notes, whose holders carry a “put” option to redeem them at the original $91.30 share price in 2014. Today, its stock rose 9.30% before hitting $0.71 in midday trading.