Sanoma Kaupunkilehdet to acquire a local free sheet in Helsinki

Sanoma Kaupunkilehdet Oy, publisher of free sheets, has acquired the business operations and publishing rights of the north-eastern Helsinki based Koillis-Helsingin Lähisanomat from Koillis-Helsingin Kustannus Oy. The sheet will transfer to Sanoma on 15 August 2005.

? This is a good local sheet, and it will further strengthen our position in our core area, the Uusimaa region. It will take our business a step closer to the reader and local reporting. Also, we will get strong know how through the sheet?s experienced and awarded organisation, says Niko Ruokosuo, President of Sanoma Kaupunkilehdet.

? It is more local than Sanoma's current free sheets. It will also serve us when studying whether there is need and room for a more local sheet in the Helsinki metropolitan area than the current free sheets. Its organisation has ample know how in local journalism and sales, which is of worth valuable for us, says Mikael Pentikäinen, President of Sanoma Corporation.
Heimo Laaksonen, Editor-in-Chief of Koillis-Helsingin Lähisanomat, says that the deal is based on the sheet's strong position and considers that it will enable future development.

- Through the deal, the sheet secures and improves its position as the people's own sheet and voice of the neighbourhood. The leading position of Sanoma as newspaper publisher makes it a natural owner giving us significant new opportunities, says Laaksonen.

Koillis-Helsingin Lähisanomat was established in January 2003, and it is distributed in the north-eastern areas of Helsinki: Malmi, Tapanila, Pukinmäki, and Puistola. It comes out once a week with a distribution volume of 41,500. The publishing schedule will remain unchanged, and the employees will continue with the new employer.

The Sanoma Kaupunkilehdet unit comprises Uutislehti 100 distirbuted in public transport, the Kaupunkilehti Kymppi chain started in April in Eastern Helsinki, the Porvoo-based Palvelulehti Itäväylä, as well as the Kellokas sheets for the Middle Uusimaa region. Nöjesguiden, a sheet for young adults, will transfer to Sanoma Kaupunkilehdet as of 1 September 2005.