Sanoma Corporation of the SanomaWSOY Group has sold its shareholding in Swedish Ecovision AB to French Fininfo S.A. Before the deal, Sanoma's holding in Ecovision was 33.4%. In connection with the deal, Sanoma has sold its StarDesk and StarWeb operations to Ecovision.
The sale of StarDesk and StarWeb to Ecovision will be carried out as divestment of operating assets, in which connection nine persons will transfer from Startel News Agency to the buyer's service. As part of the deal, Sanoma's business unit Startel and Ecovision have signed a distribution agreement, under which Startel News Agency will continue producing real-time economic news, and Ecovision will continue to market them to end-users as part of StarDesk and StarWeb service offering. The transaction will in no way affect the operations of the customers who use the services.
The now closed deal is consistent with SanomaWSOY Group's strategy according to which it will divest its non-core assets. Following the transaction, Sanoma's business unit Startel will increasingly focus on production of economic news and will distribute its services through Startel News Agency, Taloussanomat (financial newspaper) and Nelonen's Talousuutiset (economic TV news).
StarWeb is an online real-time economic news service available on Internet. StarDesk is a satellite-transmitted professional system, which is based on the Ecovision ProTrader.
Sanoma is a part of SanomaWSOY Group. Startel specializes in economic information, publishing Taloussanomat and producing news agency services and online services to corporate customers. It has gained a strong and trusted position as producer of Finnish language real-time economic news. Its customers include leading Finnish companies, financial institutions and the principal media.
SanomaWSOY is the leading Nordic media group with presence in 14 European countries. SanomaWSOY's five divisions, Sanoma, Sanoma Magazines, SWelcom, WSOY and Rautakirja pursue versatile operations in several communication sectors, offering news, entertainment, culture and information. The Group employs about 18,000 people and its pro forma net sales (2001) were some EUR 2.3 billion. 40% of the Group's activities are outside Finland.
Ecovision AB is a public limited company and its shares are listed on the Stockholm Stock Exchange's New Market. The Ecovision Group is divided into three business areas: Ecovision ProTrader, a complete financial real-time system, Ecovision Solutions, that develops and operates web services for banks, stockbrokers and the media, and Ticker News Agency, which produces real-time news for the financial markets. The Ecovision Group has 36 employees, and its sales in 2001 amounted to EUR 6.4 million and the pre-tax profit was EUR 1.1 million.
Fininfo S.A. supplies financial information services to financial institutions and companies, and has subsidiaries in France, UK, Germany, Spain, Belgium and Morocco. The sales of the Fininfo Group were EUR 119.4 million and the net result EUR 11.6 million in 2001. The total number of employees is 1000.
Mr. Martti Ojares, President, Startel; tel. +358 40 522 7988
Mr. Paul Östling, President, Ecovision AB; tel. +46 31 683450
Investor Relations and Group Communications