SanomaWSOY's Independent Media acquisition approved by competition authorities

SanomaWSOY Group's division Sanoma Magazines has received the necessary approvals from both the Russian and Ukrainian competition authorities for the Independent Media acquisition. The acquisition is still subject to the satisfactory agreements with certain licensors regarding the continuation of the respective license agreements. The deal is estimated to be closed in the beginning of March 2005.

SanomaWSOY announced its agreement to acquire Independent Media on 19 January 2005. The enterprise value amounts to some EUR 142 million.

Independent Media consists of six main operating companies in Russia and Ukraine. Through its subsidiaries and joint ventures in Russia and Ukraine, Independent Media publishes 31 consumer and business magazines as well as 3 newspapers. Independent Media's portfolio includes such successful, internationally known magazine brands as Cosmopolitan, Good Housekeeping, FHM, Men's Health, as well as Russian newspapers Moscow Times and Vedomosti, among others.

Independent Media estimated net sales including the sales of 50/50 joint ventures in 2004 amounted to about EUR 70 million, of which Sanoma Magazines' pro forma consolidated share is some EUR 47 million. The corresponding pro forma consolidated EBITA in 2004, including the share of associated companies, is EUR 10 million. Independent Media's average growth of net sales during the last three years has been 25% and that of EBITA 50%. Independent Media has 990 employees. It will become part of Sanoma Magazines International.