Hamburg multipurpose arena to Rautakirja

As a consequence of the rearrangement of the capital financing of the Hamburg multipurpose sports & entertainment hall belonging to the Jokerit Group, Rautakirja has taken up the entire share capital of JHC Arena Holding and, resulting therefrom control over its subsidiary D+J Arena Hamburg.

Since 1999, Rautakirja has been involved with the Jokerit Group as one of the largest shareholders. The Jokerit Group company JHC Arena Holding has carried on an international consultancy business relating to the design and construction of multipurpose arenas for sporting events and concerts, and has also overseen - through its subsidiary D+J Arena Hamburg - the running of the hall that it built and completed in the German city in 2002. Rautakirja has hitherto owned, either directly or indirectly, 48.2% of JHC Arena Holding.

The companies' results have developed in positive fashion, but the financing structure surrounding D+J Arena Hamburg has proved to be bulky and costly, and hence required a re-adjustment of the capital financing arrangements. As a consequence of this, Rautakirja has acquired the entire share capital of JHC Arena Holding which now becomes a wholly-owned Rautakirja subsidiary. The companies have a balance sheet worth of around EUR 80 million. Turnover in 2005 is estimated to be of the order of EUR 12.5 million, with earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) of roughly EUR 6 million.

"The operative aspect of the Hamburg hall has gone well; ice hockey matches and concerts have almost without exception been sold out, and events have been held at the venue in line with the initial plans. Since the current capital financing structure for the venture has proved overly heavy for the company, a decision has been taken on new arrangements, which Jokerit HC Oy has not been able to participate in", notes the Jokerit Chairman Harry Harkimo. According to Harkimo, commercial consultancy activities will henceforth be integrated as a part of Jokerit HC Oy.

"Rautakirja's decision to become one of the owners of the Jokerit Group was based on a vision of synergy opportunities between the earnings logistics of the commercial arena business and our own multiplex cinema operations", reports Rautakirja President and CEO Erkki Järvinen. Järvinen notes that the collaboration will now become increasingly close, and that the two units have much to give each other and much to learn from one another.

Rautakirja continues to own 36.4% of Jokerit HC Oy, and the latest deal does not affect Finnish operations.

Further details from:

Rautakirja Oy, President and CEO Erkki Järvinen, tel: +358-400-455 913
Jokerit HC Oy, Chairman of the Board Harry Harkimo, tel. +358-400-226 666