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Wednesday, December 22, 2004

Norwegian Schibsted Group seeking to buy Finnish Alma Media for EUR 705 million

According to Helsingin Sanomat, "Norway’s biggest media concern, Schibsted ASA, has made an unsolicited public offer to acquire Finland’s second-largest publishing and media group Alma Media for the equivalent of EUR 705 million, according to statements released to the Helsinki Exchanges on Tuesday morning by both companies. According to the Schibsted statement, Alma Media would be "a perfect partner". "The two companies complement each other both geographically and operationally", noted the Schibsted CEO Kjell Aamot. The statement continues that "It is Schibsted’s perception that Alma Media is a well-run company with skilled management and a strong position within newspapers, TV, and new media."

Schibsted is listed on the Oslo Stock Exchange, and is active in newspapers, TV, and Internet operations. Among the Group’s titles are the Swedish daily Svenska Dagbladet and the late-edition tabloid Aftonbladet. A week ago the company increased its holding in the largest Swedish commercial TV station TV4 from 5% to 20%. In the Norwegian market, Schibsted publishes the country’s largest daily Verdens Gang and the second-largest paper Aftenposten. The company also has a majority holding in the Eesti Meedia group in Estonia, which publishes the daily Postimees among others.
     
Alma Media’s largest shareholder is the Swedish publishing house Bonniers, with around 33% of the votes. The company owns the commercial TV channel MTV3, the country’s second-largest late-edition tabloid Iltalehti, the Tampere-based broadsheet Aamulehti, the business and financial journal Kauppalehti, a nationwide commercial radio station in Radio Nova, and a clutch of provincial newspaper titles. The Group employs around 2,400 persons.

Source: Helsingin Sanomat through IFRA newsletter

Posted by Bertrand Pecquerie on December 22, 2004 at 12:44 PM | Permalink

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