Alma Media Corporation Stock Exchange Release March 29, 2010 at 12.00 (noon)
ALMA MEDIA STRENGTHENS ITS MARKETPLACES BUSINESS IN FINLAND THROUGH COOPERATION WITH SEVERAL LEADING REGIONAL NEWSPAPERS
Alma Media Corporation and the business development company Arena Partners Oy, owned jointly by five newspaper publishers operating in Central Finland, will start cooperation in the national classified advertising business. The cooperation will involve Arena Partners buying a 35% share of the new joint venture company, operating in Alma Media's home sales, vehicle and consumer advertising marketplace businesses. Simultaneously, Alma Media will purchase a 35% share of Arena Interactive, a subsidiary of Arena Partners. The deal is subject to approval by the Finnish Competition Authority.
The joint venture will include Alma Media's Etuovi.com, Vuokraovi.com, Autotalli.com and Mikko.fi classified services.
The arrangement will have only a minor short-term effect on Alma Media's key financial indicators. It will have no effect on personnel. The 2009 total net sales of the services to be transferred to the new company were EUR 16.9 million. Arena Interactive's net sales in 2009 were EUR 1.0 million.
"The cooperation with Arena Partners is an important part of the strategic development of Alma Media's Marketplaces business and the expansion of its business opportunities also in classified newspaper advertising," says Mr Kai Telanne, President and CEO, Alma Media Corporation.
The newspapers of Alma Media and Arena Partners will enter a cooperation agreement on using Alma's marketplace services in their respective regions. With the new arrangement, customer responsibilities will become mainly regional. The joint venture company will have centralised responsibility for product development, technology and brands.
"The goal is to find new ways of serving the customers of both Arena Partners' and Alma Media's marketplaces in the best possible ways. Strong brand visibility nationally and regionally is of primary importance in home sales, vehicle and consumer advertising. For example, Etuovi.com will in future be the brand for home sales advertising in all of Alma Media's and Arena Partners' newspapers," says Mr Raimo Mäkilä, Senior Vice President, Alma Media Corporation, Marketplaces.
Alma Media Corporation
Vice President, Corporate Communications and IR
Kai Telanne, President and CEO, tel. +358 10 665 3500
Raimo Mäkilä, Senior Vice President, Marketpalces, tel. +358 10 665 5802
Distribution: NASDAQ OMX Helsinki, principal media
Arena Partners Oy, established in 2000, is a development company for electronic business with net sales of approx. MEUR 2 in 2008. Its shareholders are Keskisuomalainen Oyj, Ilkka-Yhtymä Oyj, Sanomalehti Karjalainen Oy, Keskipohjanmaan Kirjapaino Oy, Etelä-Savon Viestintä Oy and Arena Partners Oy itself. The regional newspapers published by the shareholder companies are Ilkka, Itä-Savo, Karjalainen, Keskipohjanmaa, Keskisuomalainen, Länsi-Savo, Pohjalainen ja Savon Sanomat.
Alma Media is a profitable and internationally expanding company with a focus on the future of newspapers and online services. Its best known products are the Aamulehti, Iltalehti, Kauppalehti and Etuovi.com. Alma Media's net sales in 2009 totaled MEUR 307.8 with an operating margin of 13.5%. The company's share (ALN1V) is listed in the NASDAQ OMX Helsinki Exchange. Read more at www.almamedia.fi.