Sanoma Corporation's subsidiary Startel has acquired Esmerk Oy's entire share capital. The sellers were Kari and Satu Salonen and Thomson Corporate Publishing Finland Oy. Esmerk produces article abstracts from more than 1,000 different information sources world-wide, tailored to customers' needs. Esmerk's net sales totalled FIM 29.3 million in 1998, and its net result was FIM 1.8 million. About 80 % of the company's sales is generated in Finland, UK, Sweden and Germany.

As a Startel Oy unit Esmerk will strengthen the operations of News Agency Startel, Taloussanomat (a Finnish financial daily), and Verkko-Taloussanomat (financial daily on the web), by contributing an international channel for efficient distribution of article abstracts. Esmerk's services will also be a significant addition to Startel's Intranet services.

The article abstracts produced by Esmerk have more than 30,000 end users in 25 countries. The company possesses an efficient international process and organisation for production of compact information. Esmerk produces abstracts in seven languages from more than 1,000 international sources. Esmerk is a forerunner as producer of information services distributed to customers' Intranet facilities. Established in 1975, Esmerk operates in 13 countries and has a workforce of 110.

Sanoma Corporation owns 90 % of Startel Oy. Werner Söderström Corporation - WSOY, Sanoma Corporation, Helsinki Media Company Oy and Oy Devarda Ab which is a shareholder in the two last-mentioned companies are merging on 1 May 1999 to form Sanoma-WSOY Oyj.


Aarno Heinonen
Executive Vice President


Antti-Pekka Pietilä

Further information: Antti-Pekka Pietilä, President, Startel; tel. +358 9 122 4100, or +358 400 427 825.

Distribution: HEX Helsinki Stock Exchange; principal media