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Canal+ raises stake in Viaplay

February 9, 2024

Canal+, the pay-TV business owned by French media group Vivendi, has raised its stake in Viaplay to 29.33 per cent as part of a recapitalization plan, confirming its position as the largest shareholder in the Nordic streaming platform.

Canal+;s previous stake in Viaplay was 12 per cent.

Viaplay separately said it completed a recapitalisation that included an equity injection of 4 billion Swedish kronor (€354.7m). Czech investment company PPF Group increased its stake in the company to 29.29 per cent as part of the recapitalisation, Viaplay confirmed.

Simon Duffy, Viaplay Group interim Chair of the Board of Directors, commented: “The completion of this complex and comprehensive recapitalisation programme 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, added: “The recapitalisation 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 recapitalisation 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,” he added.

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