Viaplay in talks with owners, lenders for recapitalisation

OSLO (Reuters) – Swedish streaming company Viaplay said on Monday it was in talks with three major shareholders as well as lenders and bondholders regarding a potential recapitalisation of the group, and was also in discussions to sell non-core operations.

Due to the talks, Viaplay said it would postpone its third-quarter earnings report, presenting it no later than Nov. 29 rather than the original plan of reporting on Oct. 24.

Under pressure to stabilise its business as rising living costs dented consumer demand, Viaplay in June replaced its CEO and has repeatedly warned of a weakening business environment that has sent its share price tumbling 86% year-to-date.

New CEO Jorgen Madsen Lindemann in July announced layoffs and said the company would focus on its core Nordic, Dutch and Viaplay Select operations, while downsizing, partnering, or leaving other markets.

“The group has already reduced its workforce by over 30% since July, as well as discontinuing a number of original productions and renegotiating a number of distribution partnerships,” Viaplay said in a statement on Monday.

The company did not name the shareholders, lenders and bondholders involved in the talks.

Vivendi’s CANAL+ Group in July bought a 12% stake in Viaplay, while Norwegian media group Schibsted later bought a 10% stake, making them the two largest owners according to LSEG data.

(Reporting by Terje Solsvik; Editing by Bill Berkrot)