Sweden’s Viaplay agrees to sell Premier Sports back to SSBL, report says

STOCKHOLM (Reuters) – Crisis-hit Swedish streaming group Viaplay has agreed to sell Premier Sports in Britain to SSBL, from which it bought the TV channel last year, business daily Dagens Industri reported late on Wednesday.

Viaplay announced its entry into Britain in July last year with the acquisition of the channel, and unveiled plans to enter several new markets in the face of more competition from the likes of Netflix and HBO Max.

Slammed by a drop in demand, however, in July this year it said it would shift focus towards its core Nordic, Netherlands and Viaplay Select operations, while considering downsizing, partnering, or exiting other markets.

“We have agreed to sell our British operations back to the previous owners SSBL Ltd (Premier Sports). This is in line with Viaplay Group’s strategy and plan that we presented in July,” Dagens Industri quoted a Viaplay spokesperson as saying.

Viaplay, which is scheduled to report quarterly earnings on Thursday after delays, did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

The group said in October 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.

(Reporting by Anna Ringstrom, editing by Deepa Babington)