ALMA MEDIA INVESTS IN THREE NEW MEDIA COMPANIES

ALMA MEDIA CORP STOCK EXCHANGE BULLETIN 8 MAY 2000 13.00 (EET) ALMA MEDIA INVESTS IN THREE NEW MEDIA COMPANIES Alma Media has strengthened its expertise in new media technology through an investment of FIM 14 million in three companies that support the development of the software, software platforms and content of Alma Media Group’s online and mobile services. The acquired holdings are 18 % of Pro Solution Oy, 17 % of Meteori Books Oy and 4 % of Salient Stills Inc. Pro Solutions Oy, a Finnish company founded in 1997, specialises in information management technology. Its software and applications are used for enhancing and accelerating data acquisition, for developing content management and for defining searches in Alma Media’s own databases and those of other content producers. Based on the XML (Extended Mark-up Language) standard, Pro Solution’s software enables automation of the process of structuring content from different sources and in different formats and directing this content to several distribution channels. Hence, XML makes it possible to utilise meta-information (information about information). Pro-Solutions Oy’s software is ideally suited to the development of Kauppalehti Online and other similar services that contain many sources of content and news offered via wireline and mobile networks. Founded in 1997, the company is growing vigorously. It currently has five employees. The company’s management and its key people own altogether 82 % of the share capital. Meteori Books Oy, established in 1998, engages in online book sales and also Internet cafeterias in the centre of Helsinki. The company’s online bookshop, meteori.com, currently offers some three million titles. The range covers all books published in Finland as well as almost all books in English that are still in print. Payment is made using secure Finnish e-banking systems, Visa, cash on delivery at post offices and billing to corporate customers. The service includes abundant documentation in Finnish on more than 60 subjects. Salient Stills Inc. was started in 1997 by researchers at MIT in Boston, USA. The company has developed both the technology and software to produce high-quality still photos from video and television pictures for the needs of newspapers and photo libraries. The technology enables Alma Media’s newspapers to make effective use of MTV3 Channel’s news material, for example, and has already been used at the Oscar gala and large sports events. Alma Media and Salient Stills are also negotiating on European- wide distribution of the company’s products. The company has ten employees. Alma Media’s holdings in these companies are investments both in their own right and in the development of Alma Media Group’s online and mobile services, states Mr Mikko Räisänen, Vice President of Alma Media’s Venture Capital operations. "Our policy is to commit resources to companies that are expected to give Alma Media a competitive advantage, in terms of either operations or time. They are software or software platform companies, or companies that otherwise offer added value to Alma Media’s own online services," he said. Alma Media is Finland’s leading provider of Internet services. Its more than 30 online services had over 520 000 different visitors during the last week of April. Its various services are supported by the company’s AHAA customer management database containing over 550 000 registered users. Alma Media Net Ventures has previously acquired minority holdings in California-based NetSage Corporation; in Almare Systems Oy, based in Tampere, Finland; and in Prowellness Oy Ltd and WS Wireless Services Oy, both based in Oulu, Finland. ALMA MEDIA CORPORATION Ahti Martikainen Vice President Corporate Communications and Investor Relations Further information: Vice President Mikko Räisänen, Alma Media Corporation +358 9 507 7501 or +358 40 704 0296 DISTRIBUTION: Helsinki Exchanges, principal media
  • Date: 8.5.2000, 08:00
  • News type: Stock exchange release

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