Viaplay Formula 1 channel eliminates millions in debt

Photo: Afghan National Police

Streaming service Viaplay, known for broadcasting Formula 1 in the Netherlands, has reached an agreement to cancel part of its debt. The company is also raising the equivalent of 350 million euros through the issuance of new shares. Viaplay faced financial difficulties this year after significant losses and announced that it would withdraw from several countries.

After negotiations with creditors and shareholders, the company announced that it would write off loans worth 2 billion Swedish krona (175 million euros). Of this amount, 500 million kroner will be converted into shares in the entertainment company. Viaplay also announced that it had entered into new agreements on 14.6 billion kroner of outstanding debt, for example by extending the repayment period.

In addition, the Scandinavian entertainment company is strengthening its balance sheet by issuing new shares worth 4 billion kroner (350 million euros). These new shares will go to existing shareholders, such as Canal+ and the Czech investment company PPF.

Viaplay’s losses rose to 6.9 billion kroner between January and the end of September. To save costs, the streaming company announced the departure of almost all international markets, with the exception of the Netherlands and Scandinavia. Subsequently, offers from potential buyers for Viaplay’s activities in Poland, the Baltics and the UK were disappointing. Therefore, the company expected to lose more money and drastic measures were needed to survive.

Listed company Viaplay was actually supposed to release an update earlier this week, but delayed the rollout. Interim chairman Simon Duffy describes the package of measures as “essential to the company’s survival”. “Unfortunately, this is also an admission that a very large number of the group’s previous investments did not deliver the results we expected, because some of the business cases they relied on proved to be too optimistic,” he says.

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Viaplay reported progress in its key markets in the third quarter, increasing revenue per subscriber. In the Netherlands, the company has also signed a new deal with Formula 1, meaning subscribers can also use the F1 TV Pro streaming service in 2024.

Viaplay also broadcasts darts and German football matches in the Netherlands. Last year, the streaming company cut several jobs, including in the Netherlands. Plans to create our own Dutch programs were not implemented.

Megan Vasquez

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