SanomaWSOY's new electronic media sector, which began operations on July 1, has increased its stake in Oy Ruutunelonen Ab, the company behind Channel Four Finland. This follows a decision by Egmont Holding Oy to sell its entire 25.01% stake in the company, under an agreement signed on August 23. Ownership is now split between SanomaWSOY (86.02%) and TS-Yhtymä Oy (13.98%).
Channel Four, Finland's fourth nationwide terrestrial channel, began broadcasting in June 1997 and had net sales of FIM 200 million in 1999. The company's operating license for analogue broadcasting runs until the end of 2006; and it was granted a 10-year digital-TV operating license on June 23, 1999.
SanomaWSOY's and Egmont's long-standing cooperation will not be affected by the agreement, which was made on Egmont's initiative, and Egmont will continue its other activities in Finland after withdrawing from Channel Four, in which it has had a holding since the start. Egmont and Helsinki Media own children's publisher, Oy Kirjalito Ab, and comic publisher, Egmont Kustannus Oy Ab. Egmont also distributes films, videos, and games through Oy Egmont Entertainment Ab and produces TV programmes through Oy Nordisk Film & TV Ab.
Channel Four is a part of SanomaWSOY's new electronic media sub-group, which began operations on July 1. The new sub-group also includes Helsinki Television (cable-TV, pay-TV, and Internet activities), digital-TV activities, 2ndhead.com (mobile portal), iMedia (internet solutions), Lumeveräjä (Internet portal development), Tuotantotalo Werne (video and audio production) and Måndag (video duplication and CD production).