Canal+ and PPF are now Viaplay's biggest shareholders
Viaplay Group announced today that it has successfully completed its comprehensive recapitalization program, which was announced on 1 December 2023. The program has included a SEK 4 billion equity capital injection, comprising a SEK 3.1 billion directed share issue and a SEK 0.9 billion rights issue; a SEK 2 billion write-down of existing debt obligations , of which SEK 0.5 billion has been converted into equity ; an amendment and extension of existing bank and bond commitments totaling SEK 14.6 billion; and a range of self-help measures to improve Viaplay Group’s liquidity and profitability.
The Group confirmed that it has received payments totaling SEK 4 billion for the 4 billion class B shares offered in the Rights Issue and the Directed Issue at SEK 1.00 per share. Following the registration of the Rights Issue and the Directed Issue, and the delivery of shares to investors, Canal+ Group and PPF, who both subscribed for shares in the Rights Issue and in the Directed Issue, will increase their shareholdings to 29.33 per cent for Canal+ and 29.29 per cent for PPF. Approximately 94% of the Rights Issue was subscribed for with the support of subscription rights, with the remaining 6% of the Rights Issue subscribed for without the support of subscription rights. Other investors in the Directed Issue, whose subscription commitments provided the certainty required for the overall recapitalization process, included existing shareholders Nordea Investment Management (on behalf of its clients) and Handelsbanken Fonder, as well as certain holders of Viaplay Group's MTN bonds (Alfred Berg Kapitalförvaltning, Atlant Opportunity, Martin Jonsson, Sensor Sverige Select and Sensor Räntefond, SissenerCanopus and Sissener Corporate Bond Fund, and Trinit).
The SEK 3.6 billion net proceeds of the Rights Issue and Directed Issue, after SEK 0.4 billion of costs related to the overall recapitalization program, will be used to repay the drawn revolving credit facility (SEK 3.4 billion after the Write-Down) and to fund the Group’s ongoing business.
Simon Duffy, Viaplay Group interim Chair of the Board of Directors: “The completion of this complex and comprehensive recapitalization program is a major milestone in the rebuilding of Viaplay Group, and provides a strong platform for a successful future. I would like to thank the shareholders, bondholders, loan and guarantee providers for making the concessions and commitments that were necessary to secure the survival of the Group. This marks a new beginning for Viaplay Group as the Nordic region’s leading entertainment provider.”
“We greatly appreciate the support that we have received from all stakeholders, and their confidence in our strategy and plan to re-establish Viaplay Group as a healthily profitable, financially strong and operationally sustainable company. We have set the path forward now and the executive team has already made substantial progress in improving operating performance and financial discipline, with much more to come.”
Jørgen Madsen Lindemann, Viaplay Group President and CEO: “The recapitalization package helps us address our immediate challenges, and also gives us the opportunity to realise our long-term ambitions. We have already made a number of important steps forward in the implementation of our new strategy and plan. We have identified a wide range of corrective and creative actions that are required to adjust our pricing and partnering models to commercially achievable objectives, to focus on our core markets and exit non-core international markets, to rebase the cost base to a competitive level, to reset our content strategy and to ensure accountability in all areas. We are working with our teams and partners to implement these measures quickly and effectively. We are a more focused, realistic and agile player now, operating in markets that we know well, and where we have been very successful with relevant products at affordable prices that customers love.”
“We have much more to do but the completion of this recapitalization process, and commitment by our stakeholders to the future of Viaplay Group, are absolutely essential and very much appreciated. We are totally focused on rebuilding stakeholder value by continuing to take a broad range of operating and financial measures to drive higher growth, profitability and liquidity.”