Norway’s Schibsted buys minority stake in Viaplay

Norwegian international media group, Schibsted has acquired a minority stake of 10.1% in struggling Nordic broadcaster and streaming platform, Viaplay Group.

The company follows in Canal+’s footsteps, after the Vivendi-owned french pay TV giant acquired a majority stake of 12% in the streamer in July which it is now the largest shareholder.

Viaplay announced a restructuring plan following tough economic conditions. The media outfit has pulled its operations in key international markets and cut more than 25% of its staff. Former CEO Anders Jensen, CCO Filippa Wallestam and the recent exit of Nicholas Hadley-Kamptz who was head of movies, factual and kids were among the departures across Viaplay’s senior management.

The Czech investment outfit PPF Group has also taken a 6.3% stake in Viaplay.

Kristin Skogen Lund, chief executive officer of Schibsted said: “Schibsted has a long history of investing in companies close to our core that benefit from our strength, and of seizing opportunities which arise in more uncertain times. Our investment in Viaplay is an example of this – Viaplay’s strong position as a streaming provider in the Nordics fits very well with our media operations, and we are confident that we, as a financially focused shareholder, can support value creation in the company.”

Schibsted said it holds 8.0 million B-shares in Viaplay Group.

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