PLAY Hits Funding Target with ISK 4 Billion in Share Commitments

iceland budget airline play

The Icelandic airline PLAY has secured share subscription commitments totalling ISK 4 billion ($29 million / €27 million), meeting its target before the annual general meeting scheduled for March 21, 2024. Additionally, the airline is advancing its listing to the Nasdaq Main Market in Iceland and planning a public offering to further bolster its capital.

Commitments pending approval at annual general meeting

In a press release yesterday, the Icelandic airline PLAY announced that it had secured new share subscription commitments totalling ISK 1.4 billion ($10 million / €9 million), bringing the total commitments to approximately ISK 4 billion ($29 million / €27 million). This achievement marks the fulfilment of the company’s target ahead of its annual general meeting, which is scheduled for March 21, 2024.

(A share subscription commitment means that investors have pledged or committed to buying a specific number of shares from the airline at a predetermined price before those shares are officially issued or made available to the public.)

The additional funds raised through these commitments come on the heels of previously announced commitments worth around ISK 2.6 billion ($19 million / €18 million). The final approval for increasing the company’s equity by this amount is now pending before the shareholders at the upcoming annual general meeting. The shares have been priced at a subscription rate of 4.5 ISK each.

To further enhance its capital base, PLAY’s board of directors is set to propose an additional public offering aimed at raising the equivalent of ISK 1.2 billion ($9 million / €8 million), also at a subscription price of 4.5 ISK per share. This offering will prioritise current shareholders in the event of an oversubscription. Notably, this forthcoming offering is exempt from the standard requirement of publishing a prospectus.

Listing upgraded to the Nasdaq Main Market

Amid these developments, the announcement also states that PLAY is making headway in its plans to upgrade its listing to the Nasdaq Main Market in Iceland, with expectations of concluding the process by the end of the second quarter. Birgir Jónsson, CEO of Fly Play hf., expressed his enthusiasm for the investor confidence shown in the airline’s equity raise.

“It has been a true pleasure to witness the positive reaction that investors have shown our equity raise. With the commitments we have now secured, in addition to the commitments from our largest shareholders already announced, PLAY has now secured new equity in the amount of ISK 4 billion. This number may be further increased following the public offering that is planned following the authorization from the company’s Annual General Meeting in March.

This equity raise substantially strengthens the company’s financial position and allows it to execute exciting growth opportunities and/or handle unexpected events. This is an important milestone for our good company and its employees. It is fascinating to experience how professionalism among the company employees is further enhanced. The group’s ambition is really special, and it is a privilege to work with this powerful group of PLAYers.”

Artist Stipends Awarded for 2024

The Icelandic Centre for Research (Rannís) has announced that artist stipends for 2024 have been allocated.

9,336 Months of Salary Applied For

There were some 1,600 months of salary to be allocated for 2024, representing 6 different funds for designers, visual artists, writers, performing artists, musical performers and composers.

Applications to the fund totaled 1,032, including 924 individuals and 108 performing arts groups. In total, 9,336 months of artist stipends were applied for.

Salaries from the 2023 fund were ISK 507,500 [$3,600, €3,400]. The amount of the monthly payments in 2024 will be announced after the coming year’s budget is approved by Alþingi.

Below is a selection of some of this year’s recipients.

Designers

  • Anita Hirlekar
  • Anna María Bogadottir
  • Eygló Margrét Lárusdóttir
  • Sólveig Dóra Hansdóttir

Visual artists

  • Arna Óttarsdóttir
  • Gustav Geir Bollason
  • Haraldur Jonsson
  • Hildigunn Birgisdóttir
  • Katrín Sigurðardóttir
  • Melanie Ubaldo
  • Peter Thomsen
  • Sigríður Björg Sigurðardóttir
  • Sigurður Guðjónsson
  • Steinunn Marta Önnudóttir

Writers

  • Bragi Ólafsson
  • Eiríkur Örn Norddahl
  • Done by Kristný Guðjónsdóttir
  • Guðrún Eva Mínervudóttir
  • Gunnar Helgason
  • Hallgrímur Helgason
  • Hildur Knútsdóttir
  • Jón Kalman Stefánsson
  • Kristin Eiríksdóttir
  • Kristin Ómarsdóttir
  • Steinar Bragi Guðmundsson
  • Þórdís Gísladóttir

Performing artists

  • Bjarni Jonsson
  • Gígja Jónsdóttir
  • Tyrfingur Tyrfingsson

Musicians

  • Elfa Rún Kristinsdóttir
  • Hallveig Rúnarsdóttir
  • Eva Þyri Hilmarsdóttir
  • Guðbjörg Hlín Guðmundsdóttir

Composers

  • María Huld Markan Sigfúsdóttir
  • Skúli Sverrisson
  • Veronique Jacques

See the full list of recipients here.

The Artists’ Salary Fund

The Artists’ Salary Fund is a collection of funds meant to support the arts. Funding is determined annually by Alþingi and The Icelandic Centre for Research is responsible for managing the fund on behalf of The Ministry of Culture and Business Affairs.

See last year’s artist stipends here.

New Daycare Providers to Receive ISK 1 Million in Start-Up Funding

Reykjavík City Hall ráðhús

Reykjavík’s City Council recently passed a proposal stipulating that new daycare providers receive a startup grant of ISK 1 million ($7,300 / €6,700). The Chairman of the Council believes that the proposal will result in significant cost savings for parents, Vísir reports.

Same fee for daycare and kindergartens

On Thursday, June 15, the City Council of Reykjavík approved a proposal stipulating that daycare centres that commence operations in Reykjavík will receive a start-up grant of ISK 1 million ($7,300 / €6,700). ISK 250,000 ($1,800 / €1,700) will be paid upon the signing of a service contract, and ISK 750,000 ($5,500 / €5,000) a year later. In addition, the City of Reykjavík will organise and pay for an accident prevention course every two years for all daycare providers, Vísir reports.

Einar Þorsteinsson, the Chair of Reykjavík City Council and future mayor, highlighted a significant change in the recently agreed proposal; under the new arrangement, parents will pay the same fee to the daycare centre as they would for kindergarten once their child reaches 18 months of age. As noted by Vísir, the ruling coalition had previously promised that children as young as twelve months could enrol in kindergarten.

“The city’s rules stipulate that children should be admitted by the age of eighteen months,” Einar told Vísir. “Ensuring equal treatment for parents, regardless of whether they opt for daycare providers or the preschool system, is important. The new proposal aims to achieve this by implementing a uniform fee structure. It also aims to support families who have been on the kindergarten waiting list for an extended period by covering their expenses.”

Einar maintains that parents’ payments are being reduced by tens of thousands of króna per month. “Alongside this proposal, we’re also advertising for housing among private parties. We are specifically seeking ground floors, mobile units within open-air playgrounds (i.e. gæsluvellir), and unused retail spaces that could potentially serve as suitable locations for daycare facilities. These spaces may not be suitable for kindergartens, but they meet the requirements for daycare services.”

The new proposals are not unfair to those who already work as daycare providers, according to Einar: “These proposals are aimed at increasing the number of daycare providers, improving their working environment and conditions. Reykjavík’s School and Recreation department had a good meeting with both of the two daycare parents’ associations, and the proposals take into account their views.