ViacomCBS Raises $2.5 Billion in New Debt Amid Virus Crisis

Robert Bakish-Getty-H 2019
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The studio is picking up fresh cash after reporting the new coronavirus pandemic could have a "material" impact on its financial results.

ViacomCBS on Friday said it has raised $2.5 billion with an eye to reducing its debt obligations.

The Hollywood studio, led by CEO Bob Bakish, is the latest entertainment industry company to raise fresh cash amid the fallout from the coronavirus crisis. ViacomCBS said it agreed to sell $1.25 billion in 4.750 percent senior notes due 2025, and another $1.25 billion in 4.950 percent senior notes due 2031.

The studio added it aimed to use the net proceeds from the new debt offering "for general corporate purposes, which may include repayment of outstanding indebtedness."

ViacomCBS earlier on Friday said the new coronavirus pandemic could have a "material" impact on its results, withdrew its 2020 financial guidance and said it was planning "cost savings initiatives" to offset some of the expected revenue losses.

"Global concerns about the coronavirus disease 2019 have impacted the macroeconomic environment, as well as ViacomCBS Inc.’s business," ViacomCBS said in its statement.

"While ViacomCBS has experienced production delays, the company has seen increased viewership across its broadcast and cable properties, and is utilizing its deep library of content to mitigate in part the impact of those delays," the studio added.