Lenders to Viaplay Group AB, a Swedish video streaming service, have appointed an external adviser to help with negotiations over the company’s debt burden.
(Bloomberg) — Lenders to Viaplay Group AB, a Swedish video streaming service, have appointed an external adviser to help with negotiations over the company’s debt burden.
Banks that loaned money to Viaplay — which streams Nordic dramas and Premier League Football to much of continental Europe — have tapped the services of FTI Consulting Inc., said people familiar with the matter, who spoke to Bloomberg on the condition of anonymity.
They have been in talks with Viaplay over potential breaches of covenants that would affect access to some committed credit lines, the Swedish firm said in July when it also announced plans to put itself up for sale and cut jobs. Viaplay is also in discussions with bondholders, it said at the time.
Since then the struggling Swedish streamer has seen a number of companies increase their stake in the media group following a collapse in its share price. Earlier this month Schibsted ASA bought a 10.1% stake in Viaplay, after Vivendi SE and Prague-based PPF Group also became significant shareholders over the summer. None of those companies have said they want to buy the streamer outright.
Representatives for Viaplay and FTI declined to comment on the appointment. FTI Consulting’s debt advisory business provides financial advice to struggling companies and their lenders.
The streamer’s aggressive expansion in Europe and North America has led to losses and overextended its finances. In June, it withdrew its guidance on a series of financial targets from sales to subscriber growth and replaced its chief executive officer. The following month, the Swedish firm said it would exit its international markets and focus on its core Nordic, Netherlands and Viaplay Select operations.
The company had total financial debt of 3.55 billion Swedish kronor ($320 million) as of June 30. Viaplay has a revolving credit facility with the banks for 4 billion Swedish kronor and drew 500 million under it in July to satisfy its cash needs.
–With assistance from Charles Daly.
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