Sanoma Magazines Finland, which is a part of SanomaWSOY Group's largest division Sanoma Magazines, has today signed an agreement to sell the entire share capital of its Swedish subsidiary Milvus Förlags AB to Medströmsförlagen AB, Sweden. The transaction will be finalised on 3 May 2004. Milvus Förlags AB is the publisher of Utemagasinet and Åka Skidor magazines.
The deal follows the adopted strategy of SanomaWSOY according to which it will divest its non-core operations and assets.
"Sanoma Magazines Finland's operations in Sweden have been relatively modest. According to our strategy, Sanoma Magazines will focus its activities in countries where it can achieve a leading market position. After the divestment of the Swedish unit, Sanoma Magazines will continue operating in nine countries and has a leading position in the Dutch, Belgian, Hungarian and Czech markets in addition to Finland", mentions Ms. Raili Mäkinen, President of Sanoma Magazines Finland.
The divestment has a positive effect on Sanoma Magazines Finland's EBIT in 2004.
Medströmsförlagen AB is a wholly owned subsidiary of the Norwegian Hjemmet Mortensen AS that publishes about 15 magazines in Sweden. Medströmsförlagen had net sales of SEK 265 million in 2003 and its personnel numbers 115. Hjemmet Mortensen's net sales totalled NOK 1.5 billion in 2003 and it has a workforce of about 700. Sanoma Magazines is Europe's fourth largest magazine publisher with operations in nine European countries. It publishes 232 magazines, its net sales amounted to EUR 1,028.4 million in 2003, and it has a total workforce of about 3,900. Sanoma Magazines Finland is Finland's number one magazine publisher and the market leader as publisher of women's magazines, family magazines and juvenile publications. Sanoma Magazines Finland's net sales totalled EUR 171.2 million in 2003 and the officially audited total circulation of its 37 magazines exceeds 2 million copies.
Investor Relations and Group Communications
Ms Elina Männikkö, Senior Vice President, Business Development,
Sanoma Magazines Finland, tel. +358-40-7094232