Viaplay shares fall 18% after company seeks recapitalisation, postpones results

OSLO (Reuters) -Shares in Swedish streaming company Viaplay fell 18% on Tuesday after the company said it is in talks with three major shareholders as well as lenders and bondholders on a recapitalisation, and is in discussions to sell non-core operations.

Viaplay said late on Monday that due to the talks, it would postpone its third-quarter earnings report to no later than Nov. 29, rather than the original plan of reporting on Tuesday.

Under pressure to stabilise its business as rising living costs dented consumer demand, Viaplay in June replaced its CEO and has repeatedly warned of a weakening business environment.

The company's shares hit an all-time low of 22.72 Swedish crowns on Tuesday, down 88% year-to-date.

A restructuring of the group's balance sheet was widely anticipated, but the earnings delay pointed to a drawn-out process, analysts said.

"They seem to need more time before announcing a final plan regarding how to recapitalise the firm," Kepler Cheuvreux analyst Kristoffer Carleskar said.

Viaplay did not name the shareholders, lenders and bondholders involved in the talks.

New CEO Jorgen Madsen Lindemann in July announced layoffs and said the company would focus on its core Nordic, Dutch and Viaplay Select operations, while downsizing, partnering, or leaving other markets.

"The group has already reduced its workforce by over 30% since July, as well as discontinuing a number of original productions and renegotiating a number of distribution partnerships," Viaplay said in its statement late on Monday.

Vivendi's CANAL+ Group in July bought a 12% stake in Viaplay, while Norwegian media group Schibsted said last month it had bought a 10% stake, making them the two largest shareholders according to LSEG data.

(Reporting by Terje Solsvik and Marta FrąckowiakEditing by Bill Berkrot and Susan Fenton)