Viaplay lenders working with FTI Consulting on securing finances
The lenders of Viaplay, a leading Nordic media and entertainment company, have appointed FTI Consulting as their lead advisor in trying to recover on investments made into a failed streaming expansion. As of now, hopes are high: Viaplay has announced that its restructuring plan has been approved.
After facing existential difficulties in the recent period, Viaplay has unveiled a survival plan, outlining measures to secure the company’s future. Key pillars include raising 4 billion Swedish kroner (approximately $392 million) in new equity, write down 2 billion kroner ($196 million), and renegotiate on debt worth 14.6 billion kroner ($1.4 billion).
Viaplay has been fighting for survival since earlier last year when its stock value plummeted after less-than-stellar performance.
With repayments of debt under pressure, lenders of the media group – including banks and investors – have joined forces and appointed FTI Consulting to help with securing their financial interests.
Though FTI Consulting and Stockholm-based Viaplay both declined to provide any specific comment on the case, this is not the first time FTI Consulting (which in part specializes in turnaround and restructuring) has been hired to help a company in distress.
“Our senior restructuring consultants help drive successful turnarounds, including guidance on stabilizing finances and operations to reassuring all parties that proactive steps are being taken to enhance value,” according to FTI Consulting’s website.
The US-headquartered consulting firm is also known for advising on relatively high-profile M&A deals and its strategic communications expertise.
Viaplay owns sports broadcasting rights in the Nordic region, Netherlands, and the Baltics. The Swedish media company had ambitious goals to become a pan-European and even global player, but its international expansion faced setbacks, with advertising and streaming operations being a major failure.
In an attempt to compete with larger, more mainstream streaming services like Netflix and Hulu, Viaplay made moves to enter new parts of the European market and the North American market. That move ended in failure last summer, with the company announcing that it would shift focus back to its core market in the Nordic countries and the Netherlands.
After the company unveiled its financial woes early December, its shares plummeted by over 70%, with the more recent departure of its CEO the icing on the cake.
In 2024, Viaplay is set to undergo a recapitalization with Canal+ (owned by Vivendi) and Czech investment firm PPF Group jointly acquiring a 58.6% stake in the company.