Czech-based PPF buys 6.3% stake in Scandinavian Viaplay Group

Czech-based PPF buys 6.3% stake in Scandinavian Viaplay Group
Popular Scandinavian streaming broadcaster Viaplay Group. / Viaplay Group
By Albin Sybera in Prague August 3, 2023

PPF Group has bought a 6.3% stake in the popular Scandinavian streaming broadcaster Viaplay Group, according to an announcement on the Stockholm Stock Exchange.

Viaplay announced grim second-quarter results, with a loss of SEK5.8bn (€0.5) earlier in July and significant cuts, including exiting the US, Canada, UK, Poland and the Baltic countries. French Canal+, part of the Vivendi media house, also bought a 12% stake in Viaplay just a week ago.

PPF controls the Central European Media Enterprises, including streaming service Voyo, making it a significant media actor in Central and Southeastern Europe. Recently it raised its shares in German media house ProSiebenSat1 to over 15%, becoming its second-largest shareholder, and obtained a seat on the supervisory board.

The company also has significant assets in the telecommunications sector, which it has identified as an area of possible synergy with its media assets. On August 1, PPF announced cooperation with the Emirates Telecommunication Group Company (e& or Etisalat), which is to get 50% of the shares in PPF Telecom’s assets in Bulgaria, Hungary, and Slovakia.

In April, Czech Media Invest, whose main shareholder is Czech energy and media oligarch Daniel Kretinsky, and who also has a seat on an advisory body to the PPF’s owners, the Kellner family, agreed with Vivendi on acquiring its leading publishing group Editis.    

Kretinsky also decreased his involvement in ProSiebenSat1 prior to PPF’s rise in the shareholding structure of the leading German media company.

Kretinsky and Anna Kellnerova, daughter of late Petr Kellner and his second wife Renata Kellnerova, have become a couple in recent years.