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DAZN shareholders make $4.3 billion play for safety

Len Blavatnik agrees to recapitalisation of the streaming group

DAZN’s main shareholder has agreed to a $4.3 billion recapitalisation of the sports streamer, making the company debt free as of the end of 2021.

Access Industries will convert preference shares and retire shareholder loans in exchange for new shares in the streaming group, with a further $250 million to be split equally between new ordinary and preference shares.

DAZN reported a net loss of more than $1.3 billion in 2019 and was hit hard by the cancellation of live sports fixtures in 2020, prompting Access chair Len Blavatnik to consider a range of financing options, including an outright sale.

The company made job cuts in 2020 and is expected to report further losses in its delayed 2020 accounts, following the collapse of the group’s bid to acquire BT Sport, according to the Financial Times.

DAZN chair Kevin Mayer said Blavatnik’s increased backing was a “strong vote of confidence in DAZN’s strategy, progress and future growth.”

The company added that it would pursue new technology-driven opportunities this year, such as betting, gaming and non-fungible tokens.