ALMA MEDIA CORP. STOCK EXCH. RELEASE 12.5.2003 AT 9.30 AM 1/2 ALMA MEDIA AND EDITA MAGAZINE PRINTING PLANTS TO MERGE Alma Media Corporation and Edita Plc have signed an agreement under which Alprint’s Rahola offset-rotation printing plant and Edicta Acta Oy, part of Edita Group, will merge to form a new company to be called Acta Print Oy. Edita Plc will own 64% of the company and Alma Media Group 36%. The CEO of Acta Print Oy will be Markku Utti and the deputy CEO will be Erkki Kulmala. The magazine printing market in Finland has clearly contained excess capacity. Only slight growth is expected in domestic demand over the next few years. The greatest growth potential is seen to lie in the nearby international markets and especially in the developing magazine market in Russia. Alma Media Corporation and Edita Acta Oy have decided to join forces in magazine printing. They are creating a new, powerful printing organization, operating with offset and gravure printing methods, that can provide a wide range of high quality printing services cost effectively for Finnish and international publishers and other customers requiring high volume printing. Edita Acta Oy is part of Edita Group, which is owned by the Finnish state and has core areas of competence in publishing, graphics, communications and digital services. The group had net sales in 2002 of EUR 160 million and employs over 1300 people. The group has operations in Finland, Sweden and the Baltic countries. Under the terms of the agreement, Alprint Oy’s Rahola offset- rotation printing plant in Tampere, which is responsible for Alma Media’s magazine printing, and Edita Acta’s offset- rotation printing plant in Porvoo and gravure printing plant in Kivenlahti, Espoo will merge to form a company called Acta Print Oy. The merger will take place by transferring Alprint’s Rahola operations, including the machinery, equipment and personnel, to Edita Acta Oy. Acta Print Oy, the company formed by the merger, will have net sales of some EUR 100 million and will employ some 550 people at the time of the merger. Acta Print Oy’s balance sheet total will be just over EUR 70 million and its equity ratio will stand at 40%. Following the merger, Alma Media’s equity ratio will rise by some two percentage points. Its interest-bearing liabilities will decline by EUR 18 million and the net amount of invested capital will fall by EUR 17 million. The merger will reduce Alma Media’s net sales by about EUR 55 million at an annual level. Some 300 Alprint personnel will transfer to Acta Print. The merger will slightly weaken Alma Media Group’s operating profit for the current year due to non-recurring costs. The 36% holding in Acta Print Oy will have a book value of EUR 5 million in Alma Media’s balance sheet. 2/2 The owners of Acta Print have agreed that Markku Utti, president of Edita Acta Oy, will become CEO of the Acta Print, Erkki Kulmala, president of Alprint Oy, will be his deputy responsible for marketing, and Ritva Sallinen, at present Executive Vice President, Finance and Administration at Alma Media Corporation, will become CFO. Acta Print Oy formed by the merger is expected to be distinctly more profitable than the present companies separately. Since the companies have duplicate operations, the merger will unavoidably have an impact on personnel, and this will be looked at with personnel. The merger still requires approval from Finnish competition authorities. Alprint’s production unit in Hyvinkää, which specializes in comics and puzzle books, is not included in this company restructuring, and will continue its operations as part of Alma Media Group. Mr. Juho Lipsanen, President and CEO of Alma Media Corporation, sees numerous good points in the merger. Merging the expertise and production machinery of two players in the field creates a new magazine printer in Finland with an extremely diverse product and service selection. Acta Print will also be able to make better use of its capacity than two separate companies, since it is better equipped to serve small and large publishers and other customers needing a variety of printed products, whatever the size of the print run, and whatever the products or printing technique required. According to Mr. Lipsanen, the merger will improve capacity usage and return on equity and will also help avoid unnecessary duplicate capital expenditure in the future. At the same time it creates a player that is sufficiently large to be actively involved in the restructuring of the sector. ALMA MEDIA CORPORATION Ahti MartikaInen VP, Communications Further information: Juho Lipsanen, President and CEO, Alma Media Corporation, tel. +358 9 507 8715 Ritva Sallinen, Executive Vice President, Finance and Administration, Alma Media Corporation, tel. +358 9 507 8708 Ahti Martikainen, Vice President, Communications, Alma Media Corporation, tel. +358 9 507 8514 PRESS CONFERENCE A press conference about the merger will be held for analysts and media representatives today, 12 May 2003, at 11.00 am at the company’s head office at Eteläesplanadi 14, 6th floor.
  • Date: 12.5.2003, 08:00
  • News type: Stock exchange release

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